SPORTS


Slovenia overcome injuries to claim historic title in Dragic's swansong

Baku, September 18, AZERTAC

Slovenia overcame injuries to stars Goran Dragic and Luka Doncic to outlast Serbia 93-85 and win their first FIBA EuroBasket title after a pulsating Final, according to the official website of FIBA.

Luka Doncic's injury threatened to derail Slovenia, who were up by eight midway through the third when the 18-year-old went down. Things further soured when Dragic suffered cramps and had to exit with the game in the balance. With scores level with just over two minutes left, Klemen Prepelic (21 points) hit a clutch shot followed by an Anthony Randolph (15 points) running jumper to give Slovenia some breathing space. They held on from there to cap off an unbeaten campaign - the first team to have achieved that feat since Lithuania in 2003.

The teams were almost deadlocked across most of the major statistics but Slovenia had an important 7-4 advantage in blocks. Big men Randolph and Gasper Vidmar combined for 6 rejections, including several key ones late.

In his final international game, Slovenia captain Goran Dragic played a masterful opening three quarters to score 35 points to almost single-handedly give his team the edge. However, after expending so much energy, Dragic tired in the fourth before suffering cramps late. He finished with 35 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists - and the tournament MVP presented by Tissot - in a fairy tale ending to his brilliant international career.

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