Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads Canada to victory over Slovenia and makes history

Canada’s impressive FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup 2023 campaign continued on Wednesday with a massive 100-89 victory over Luka Doncic and Slovenia. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Canada with 31 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while RJ Barrett added 24 points in the victory.

Doncic led Slovenia with 26 points before being ejected for his second technical foul at 6:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. Canadian Dillon Brooks – who was also kicked out of the competition – was impressive defensively on the ball, limiting Doncic to an 8-of-20 shooting performance.

Doncic congratulated the entire Canadian team after the match and especially praised Gilgeous-Alexander and Brooks.

“Congratulations to Canada, they played very well. They have one of the best players in the world and it was very difficult to score him,” Doncic said of Gilgeous-Alexander. “I think Dillon played very well, he was very physical as always. A lot of people don’t like him, but I respect him for what he does and he does those things really well.”

The game was tied at halftime before the Canadians took control with a solid third quarter, outscoring the opposition 30-21 at halftime, including a 19-5 run to open the period.

“They played very well, it was very physical. They have one of the best players in the world so it was very difficult to score him. Return to the hotel with your head held high. I am very proud of this team. We were close, but it starts with me. I have to be better for my team with all the emotions, play for your country, you want to do your best, you want to die there. – Luka Doncic, Slovenia

The victory allowed Canada to compete for a medal for the first time in the tournament. The Canadians have already secured their ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with their victory against Spain on Sunday.

“He feels good. We went there and did it as a unit, everyone played a lot together, we fought and that’s the best part. The next step is to enjoy tonight , to watch the movie tomorrow and start training, preparing to win the next game I watched the last game (Serbia) against Lithuania a bit, they are playing well, they are playing together, and my friend High school Filip Petrusev is on this team, so it will be fun.—RJ Barrett, Canada.

Canada will face Serbia in the semifinals on Friday. Germany and the United States are on the other side of the key.

“Congratulations to Team Canada, they have a great team, great players and a great coach. We had a good or an excellent first half, we had some problems in the third quarter, we lost concentration, we conceded a lot of transition points. , we failed to score as many open shots as we could have, and their athleticism prevailed. I’m proud of the guys, we faced a lot of problems and injuries.

What they did was beyond amazing. I felt like the whole arena was supporting us. There were guys who didn’t like us, but what can we do? – Aleksander Sekulic, Slovenia coach.

Watch the best moments of the game:

According to Gilgeous-Alexander, what must Canada do to ensure they reach the final? More of the same.

“We play together, we play fast, we play hard, we’re very hard to beat,” Gilgeous-Alexander said after Wednesday’s victory. “We just have to keep imposing our will, imposing our identity on the teams for 40 minutes and everything will be fine.”

Canada coach Jordi Fernandez praised the achievement.

“Congratulations to these guys, they just made history. This is the best position yet for Canada, congratulations to the guys, to the country and to Canadian basketball. It is important to finish the possessions of the ball because that is where our counter-attack begins. We tightened the pace for 40 minutes and everything went well.

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Julia Fleming

"Prone to fits of apathy. Beer evangelist. Incurable coffeeaholic. Internet expert."

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