At Doncic’s party (22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists), the king was Mills. The Australian scored, assisted, fouled and moved how, when and where he wanted
Luka doncic, one of the stars of these Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he will go home without a medal because an Australian cyclone called Patty Mills, that with some prodigious 42 points and 9 assists gave Australia the bronze, the first basketball medal in its history (93-107).
At Doncic’s party (22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists), the king was Mills. The Australian scored, assisted, fouled and moved how, when and where he wanted. The Australian flag bearer, the first of aboriginal origin in the Olympic history of his country, added the first medal for his team, after losing it in Rio 2016 against Spain.
His feat breaks the beautiful history of the Slovenian team, conjured in a prodigious summer to climb from the pre-Olympic to glory. He had never lost a game with the great player of the Dallas mavericks on the parquet, including the Eurobasket 2017, the pre-Olympic and Tokyo 2020, but he broke that streak just in the most important moments: the semifinals and the match for the bronze. In one it was the hand of the French Nicola Batum with a stopper for the story, and in another the phenomenal performance of Mills.
Started Australia as usual, defending intensely with an area that advanced three players on the triple line to avoid the Slovenian outside shot, fast in the transition and with English striking (2-9, min. 3).
Doncic, which was not found, already had its pluses and minuses with Dante Exum, but he scored and from one of his frictions he took an unsportsmanlike with which Slovenia turned the game upside down thanks to a triple from Klemen prepelic (15-13, min. 7). Australia he was not daunted, he chained two transitions and a robbery of Thybulle for an even quarter final (19-20).
He touched the alarm Mills to pull their own, although the second Slovenian unit resisted with rapid transitions in a full-speed match. The ocean defense was leaking, so the technician stopped it Brian Goorjian to adjust. It cost them, but they blocked the roads Mike Tobey while Mills he was still on his ‘show’: in the 17th minute, 25 points out of 45 Australia they were his (35-45).
Slovenia reacted, but always met with opposition from Mills, who both scored and served balls to Jock landale; and with a spectacular ending of Matisse Thybulle, who first forced a 2 + 1 and then stole to kill two-handed with a spectacular jump. I was not happy Doncic: a protest cost him the technique, already with the meeting in rest time (45-53).
The Europeans still could not find their leader, well covered by Thybulle, and the party was where Australia wanted: at times running, others looking for Landale inside, that won all of Tobey. Not even when the versatile Slovenian-American pivot hit the triple was he very useful to his team, because English immediately did it (52-64, min. 25).
Alien to the human, Mills he was still in his private exhibition in search of the bronze medal. He was already going for 36 points to put his team ten up (62-72, min. 28), while Doncic he was desperate to try unsuccessful triples, with just one hit of his eight attempts so far. Fortunately for him, Prepelic kept his own and he 67-78 it seemed even short for Australia at the end of the third quarter.
That it was short was demonstrated by the Slovenians in four minutes, because with a 13-5 run they put the duel in a fist (80-83, min. 33) and with Doncic, it seemed, more intoned. Mills came to the rescue by forcing an unsportsmanlike Jaka blazic and attending Exum for the triple, the same one who robbed Doncic to hang up and put the 80-90.
The Slovenian genius put the triple machine to work, but found that the ‘Boomers’ also had firepower to pull from, English’s first and Kay after (86-102). The medal of Doncic You’ll have to wait. It was time to Mills, and of Australia, Olympic medalist in basketball for the first time.
– Data sheet:
93 – Slovenia (19 + 26 + 22 + 26): Nikolic, Doncic (22), Cancar (8), Dragic (9), Tobey (13) -initial quintet-, Blazic (12), Muric (5), Prepelic (18), Dimec (6), Rupnik.
107 – Australia (20 + 33 + 25 + 29): Mills (42), Thybulle (11), Landale (14), English (16), Kay (6) -initial quintet-, Exum (12), Goulding (6), Dellavedova and Sobey. Without eliminated.
Referees: Roberto Vázquez (PUR), Yohan Rosso (FRA) and Matthew Leigh Kallio (CAN).
Incidents: match for the bronze medal of the men’s basketball tournament of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, contested at the Saitama Super Arena, without public for the sanitary measures against the pandemic of coronavirus.