Argentina suffered the historical performance of Luka Doncic and fell to Slovenia in its premiere in Tokyo 2020.


The basketball team lost 118-100 to the Europeans, who featured a brilliant game from the 22-year-old guard who scored 48 points and equaled the second-best Olympic record. In addition, he captured 11 rebounds and provided five assists.

The Argentine men's basketball team fell this morning widely against his counterpart from Slovenia, by 118-100, in the opening match of Group C of the qualifying phase of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Albiceleste team, the last world runner-up in China 2019, did not find the rhythm of the game at any time and lost without mitigating against a rival that exhibited the star Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) as the central figure, with a balance of 48 points and 11 rebounds (3 offensive and eight defensives).

"Today we play badly, and they have an excellent player, the kind that comes out every 30, 40, or 50 years. They deserved the victory because of this difference", acknowledged Luis Scola. He, at 41 years of age, continues to be the main alternative in the attack. "We have to improve a lot of things if we want to be competitive. This would be the same analysis if we had won, "said the former player of the Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, and Indiana Pacers of the NBA, who started the fifth Olympic event of his career. Life was also in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Scola signed a roster of 23 units (9-14 in doubles, 0-4 in triples, 5-7 in free), four rebounds, an assist, and a cover in 27m. He was followed by Facundo Campazzo, point guard for the Denver Nuggets, with 21 points, six rebounds, four passes, and three rebounds, while Gabriel Deck, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward from Santiago, finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.

"The truth? (Luka) Doncic did what he wanted. We offered him the shot, he took it and put it in," said Oveja Hernández, who is facing his third Olympic experience after Beijing 2008 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. "We offered him the pass, and he attended. We offered him to go inside, he went and scored. I could have scored 60 points if I wanted", confessed a resigned Albiceleste coach.

This defeat complicates the panorama of the Argentine team in Group C that includes the world champion Spain (the next rival, on Thursday from 9:00 Argentine time) and the host Japan (in the early hours of Sunday, August 1). After that, the first two picks in each bracket and the best two-thirds (of the three brackets) play the quarters.

It was an actual festival provided by NBA star Luka Doncic, who scored 48 points and equaled the second-best mark in the Olympics. In addition, he captured 11 rebounds, provided five assists and three blocks in 31 minutes. The 22-year-old guard, who did not play the final four minutes, stayed close to the scoring record held since Seoul-1988 by Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt when he scored 55 points against Spain. The Dallas Mavericks player equaled the second-best mark, achieved by Australian Eddie Palubinskas against Mexico in Montreal-1976.

From the beginning, Typhoon Doncic swept through the Argentine defense. The Slovenian punished from a distance (3-4 in triples in the first chapter). It encouraged the penetrations to the basket to round up 17 goals in the first 10m. In that start, with ups and downs, DT Hernández's team alternately changed the brand to the Dallas Mavericks star. The 22-year-old was indistinctly Campazzo, Vildoza, Garino, Bolmaro, and Deck. But none could stop the match's top scorer who, at the end of the first half, already had an unusual collection of 31 of the 62 totals that Slovenia had achieved, which reached this appointment, through a playoff in Lithuania, at the beginning of the month.

At that point, Argentina did not show solidity under its own basket either, exhibiting poor aim in the outside shots (2-18 in triples for the first 20m.) And denoting little fluidity in the movement of the ball. At the end of the first period, the defeat by twenty points (42-62) seemed like a good deal. In the third segment, Slovenia escaped and achieved a maximum difference of 28 (84-56, in the absence of 2m. 27s. For the conclusion of the fourth) against Argentina that had lost the characteristic line. In the last quarter, the European team regulated the rhythm, gave prominence to other supporting actors (Klemen Prepelic, Valencia of Spain), and sat Doncic before the end. With the drive from Scola and some conversions from Campazzo, the Argentine team made up the loose fall. However, the feeling that remained floating in the atmosphere is that the team still lacks collective gear.