Paris – NBA star Luka Doncic delivered a triple-double to lead Slovenia over Lithuania 96-85 on Sunday and into its first Olympic basketball tournament.
Slovenia punched its ticket to Tokyo with the victory in the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Doncic, 22, scored 15 of his 31 points in the second quarter and added 11 rebounds and 13 assists to lead Slovenia.
Lithuania, led by NBA stalwarts Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas, clawed its back from two double-digit deficits.
But Slovenia took control for good with a 14-0 scoring run bridging the third and fourth quarters. The Lithuanians will miss out on the games for the first time.
“We worked hard for this,” said Dallas Mavericks star Doncic, who was named MVP of the tournament.
“I don’t care about the MVP,” Doncic said. “We won here, we’re going to the Olympics, the first time in our country.
“It’s amazing,” he added. “I think every kid in Slovenia dreams about being in the Olympics, I did, too.”
The event in Kaunas was one of four men’s basketball qualifiers concluding on Sunday.
In Split, Croatia, Germany cooled off red-hot Brazil to book its first Olympic berth since 2008.
Brazil went into the final on a roll, beating its first three opponents by 26, 27 and 28 points.
But it was Germany punching a ticket to Tokyo with a 75-64 victory.
In Belgrade, Italy took down Serbia the 2016 silver medalist. 102-95 to secure a Tokyo berth.
On Sunday evening, the Czech Republic dominated Greece 97-72 in Victoria, Canada, for the final spot in the 12-nation Olympic men’s basketball tournament.
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