In a thrilling quarter-final clash at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in Manila, Canada emerged victorious over Slovenia with a final score of 100-89. The game, witnessed by a packed crowd, delivered a nail-biting spectacle with 18 lead changes occurring in just the first half.
The encounter between Canada and Slovenia etched its name in World Cup history, with both teams notching up 50 points each in an action-packed first half. The game’s pace was relentless, and both sides opted for a small-ball strategy, leaving no towering players on the court to thwart the formidable duo of Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Whatever inspirational words Coach Jordi Fernandez imparted during halftime had a profound effect, as Canada shifted gears from sixth to seventh after the break.
The third quarter saw RJ Barrett‘s remarkable performance, contributing 13 crucial points. Dillon Brooks also made his presence felt with a pivotal three-pointer, igniting celebrations that resonated through the arena.
Canada managed to extend their lead to 10 points with just five minutes left in the third quarter. Slovenia’s attempts to stage a comeback were continually thwarted, primarily due to Canada’s stellar defensive display in the second half.
The Stars Show Up
The clash lived up to its hype, with the expected frontrunners in the MVP race delivering standout performances. However, the true test lay in how the supporting cast would respond, and Canada’s supporting trio of Barrett (24 points), Brooks (14 points), and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (14 points) all achieved double-digit scores.
Luka Doncic showcased his prowess with 26 points in 29 minutes before receiving his second technical foul with seven minutes remaining. Klemen Prepelic followed suit, concluding the game with 22 points. Special mention goes to Luguentz Dort, who contributed eight points and executed a physical defense on Doncic.
Canada’s Remarkable World Cup Run
This historic victory marked Canada’s first-ever entry into the World Cup Semi-Finals, while Slovenia’s pursuit of such an achievement will have to wait for at least another four years.
Reflecting on the game, Luka Doncic of Slovenia commended the opponents, acknowledging their outstanding performance and physicality. He expressed pride in his team’s effort, emphasizing the significance of representing their country on the court.
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