JO Tokyo 2021

Slovenia’s Luka Doncic simply sensational Olympic start

Temps de lecture : 2 mn 🕗

TOKYO (Japan) – If you thought you’d see the best of Slovenia’s Luka Doncic had to offer at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas where he ran riot against Angola, Poland, Venezuela and Lithuania to average an insane 21.3 points, 11.3 assists and 8.0 rebounds, you were wrong.

He was simply sensational in his Olympic debut in Tokyo on Monday, and against a country that made it to the Final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, Argentina.

Doncic had 48 points – 31 in the first half – along with 11 rebounds and five assists as Slovenia rolled to a 118-100 triumph.

The performance was sublime, dazzling and history making. The 48 points were the most ever scored by a European in an Olympic basketball game.

Doncic, indisputably, is the Player of the Day. Apologies for the game to come, it’s going to take an all-time Olympic scoring record or something of this magnitude to knock Luka from this perch.

“The best player in the world” is what Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez called him after the Group C opener, a game that tipped off before most Europeans normally get out of bed.

Knowing that Doncic was making his Olympic debut probably led to a lot of early risers on the old continent. His performance came like a shot of espresso.

On one play in the second half, he delivered a spellbinding behind-the-back pass on a successful pick-and-roll with Mike Tobey, who is one of the primary beneficiaries of Doncic’s creativity.

Even if Argentina had had their 2004 Olympic MVP and international hoops legend Manu Ginobili in his prime in this contest, one has to wonder if the result would have been any different.

Ginobili watched, transfixed by the brilliance of the 22-year-old Doncic.

Translated into English, Ginobili’s tweet said: “Amazing dominance of Doncic’s game, 31 points in a half. What a beast.”

There is a lot of basketball to be played but the evidence is there for all to see. Doncic has been an unstoppable force this summer and Slovenia will be liking their chances of reaching the podium thanks to their talisman. In fact, who could blame them for setting their sights on the gold medal?


FIBA

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