Yesterday Slovenia managed to assert their dominance over Korea (at least in the second half). Coach Zdovc said this was the game he was most afraid of because the guys automatically relax against teams that are supposedly less talented. The guys quickly realized this was no time for slacking. It felt like Korea couldn't miss in the first few minutes and they kept that momentum going for the whole half. Thank Goran Dragic for carrying the team till halftime (to be fair most of the time). Coach Zdovc apparently got mad enough during the brake that our guys started taking things more seriously, had an outstanding 3rd quarter and took the 89:72 win.
Goran Dragic after the win against Korea:
We have to congratulate the Koreans. They play, not really weird basketball, but they are in constant movement, they do everything in sprint, so it's very hard to play them. If you relax just a little, are late just a bit, they immediately punish you and that's what they did in the first half. Then Jure (Zdovc) gave them a bit of a talking-to and we finally came together and got this difference.
And because it looks so, so nice, here are the Dragon's stats so far in the tournament.
Take note; he is doing all of this in 26 minutes of playing time. So freaking efficient. If anyone wants to be in awe some more, check out players statistics on the FIBA page.
Today they face a new opponent: Angola. The two national teams did meet each other in a warm-up game prior to the cup. It was a blow out game in which Slovenia took a 21 point win playing without Goran Dragic. One would think this would ease our minds, but the pre-Cup Angola team was more of a B league team and really only one or two players from that team are at the World Cup. So it's a completely different opponent. That trip to China was such a waste.
So far Slovenia has 3 wins and provided it takes the win against Angola today, we still have a safety net of a max 8 point loss vs Lithuania tomorrow to take first place in group D. This has to happen in order for us to meet team USA as late as possible in the bracket. In this scenario: semifinals.
But like Zdovc, I don't want to discuss this in detail yet. First and foremost is today's game. The team knows they should not underestimate any opponent. Angola is highly motivated fighting for the last spot that will advance them into the second round. Subconsciously, it still happens. Hopefully that first half against Korea proved as a lesson.
Here are the standings so far: