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Doncic, Slovenia reaches final, eye Olympic berth

Mike Tobey scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Luka Doncic was a rebound less than a triple-double when Slovenia overtook Venezuela with 98:70 in the semifinals of an Olympic qualifying tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania on Saturday.

Slovenia only needs one more victory to secure an Olympic trip.

Tobey was born in New York, went to high school in New Jersey, played college ball for Virginia, began his professional career in North Carolina, and eventually signed with a club in Spain.

For Slovenia he was 11-on-17 out of the field and Doncic raved about his performance.

“He can do a lot and he’s a great defensive player,” said Doncic, a star with the Dallas Mavericks. “He’s really helping us down there.”

Doncic finished with 23 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds for Slovenia (3-0), who are on the line against either Lithuania or Poland on Sunday with a place at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

All four qualifying tournament venues – Lithuania, Canada, Serbia and Croatia – will host championship games on Sunday to determine the final four teams on the men’s Olympic basketball court.

“It would be great. It would be a dream to be in the Olympics,” said Doncic. “Not just me, I think the whole association of Slovenia and the whole country. They really cheer us on and I hope we can achieve that.”

Slovenia played their first three games and won with 50, 35 and now 28 points. It covered a total of 6 minutes, 55 seconds out of 120 minutes of action – 5.8% of the time – and all in the first quarter of a group game against Poland.

Zoran Dragic added 12 points for Slovenia, which won the European Championship in 2017 but has not qualified for the Olympic Games in men’s basketball since independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Pedro Chourio and Michael Carrera each scored 16 points for Venezuela, who received 10 from David Cubillan.

BELGRADE, SERBIA BRACKET

SERBIA 102, PUERTO RICO 84: Vasilije Micic scored 21 points, Nemanja Bjelica added 18 and hosts Serbia advanced to Sunday’s final against Italy in Belgrade.

Filip Petrusev and Danilo Andjusic each scored 15 points and Milos Teodosic finished with 11 points and 10 assists for Serbia (3-0), which won the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Isaiah Pineiro scored 23 points in 10-of-12 for Puerto Rico (1-2), which received 20 points from George Conditt, 17 from Gian Clavell and a 12-point game with 10 assists from Gary Browne.

ITALY 79, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 59: Italy took advantage of a 17-0 run in the third quarter to build a 32-point lead and had no problems reaching the final on Sunday.

Simone Fontecchio scored 17 points and Stefano Tonut added 14 for Italy, which put all 12 of their players in the points column.

Brandone Edward Francis Ramirez scored 12 for the Dominican Republic (1-2) and Adonys Henriquez added 10.

SPLIT, CROATIA BRACKET

GERMANY 86, CROATIA 76: Germany ended the game with a 19-2 run to stun hosts Croatia and advance into the championship game against Brazil on Sunday in Split.

Maodo Lo scored 29 points and added eight assists for Germany (3-0), who received 13 points from Joshiko Saibou and 11 from Andreas Obst.

Bojan Bogdanovic did everything he could for Croatia, scoring 38 points in 11v19 shooting. His teammates together scored 38 points in 12v35 shooting. Mario Hezonja finished at 14 for Croatia (1-2), which missed its last seven shots.

BRAZIL 102, MEXICO 74: Vitor Benite scored 22 points and Brazil (3-0) had few problems with Mexico on their way to the final on Sunday in Split.

Rafael Luz scored 12 points and Alex Garcia scored 11 for Brazil, who beat Mexico 54-27 from the 3 point range.

Francisco Cruz scored 18 for Mexico (1-2), the 16 of Gustavo Ayon, 12 by Orlando Mendez and 11 by Paul Stoll.

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