Dragic and Slovenia give the home crowd a grand send-off, beat Ukraine for 5th place


In a game for 5th place in the final standings, Gogi and Slovenia beat Ukraine 69:63. Since both of the teams already qualified for the FIBA World championship, there was no real imperative to win, and it showed in the relaxed, but still tough and fast-paced game.

The first quarter was filled with mistakes and missed lay-ups and mistakes in defence as well as offence, Goran connected on a three in his first try, but Ukraine was hanging in and finished the first Q with a 10:0 run, mostly due to their 3pt scoring, almost every attempt went in.

In the second quarter, the Dragić dynamic duo took charge, first locking down on defence, which resulted in a few turnovers, some easy buckets on the fastbreak, as well as a couple of manly dunks form the center Vidmar, that spurred am 11:0 run. In the closing seconds, Ukraine hit two threes, to stay in contention, one from the American PG Jeter. (just cracks me up, this trend in bringing in American players to play for European national teams, I'm pretty sure, Slovenia is the only Ex-Yugoslavian country without an american point-guard).

Third quarter was much of the same, the defence was even better, and on the other end, the 3pt shot worked better and better, the offensive ball movement was excellent, leading to a couple of nice assists, the prettiest one again probably being Vidmar, who slammed home a one-handed slam and drew the foul. Too bad he can't hit a free throw to save his life (I'm being a bit harsh, but his FT% is awful). This also gave the hosts their biggest lead of the night with 54:42. In one particular moment, Goran hit a lay-up after getting past I think 4 of Ukrainian players, at which point the crowd errupted. My voice is still a bit horse =)

In the last quarter, Dragić brothers were given some rest, and Ukraine seized the opportunity to close the gap to just five, at which point Goran stepped in, hit a 3pt jumper, another 2pt jupshot, and in the final seconds connected on a beautiful cross-court pass to Zoran, who capped it with a dunk.

Goran finished with 19PTS on 7/12 shooting (5/9 for 2, 2/3 for 3, 3/3 FT), 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 turnovers.

Of note, Kravtsov did not play, but seemed to be fine on the bench.

A link to the highlights Highlights_Slovenia-Ukraine, and one of a proper dunk Vidmar dunk.

He's the first C in our national team that isn't afraid to go hard to the rim, others just sort of throw it off the boards.

Admins, please add a photo of Goran that is suitable, I didn't know here you keep them=)