Luka Doncic practically did not have to play in Slovenia’s debut in the qualifying tournament for basketball at the Olympic Games.
Zoran Dragic scored to 16 points, Doncic and Vlatko Cancar added 13 each and Slovenia edged Angola 118-68 on Wednesday at the contest in Kaunas, Lithuania. Doncic barely played 17 minutes and came out in the middle of the third quarter.
“We got off to a great start,” Doncic said.
Qualifying tournaments are played this week in Lithuania, Croatia, Serbia and Canada. They will determine the last four places of the men’s tournament in Tokyo. The group stage will continue until Thursday, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday at all four venues and the final the following day.
The winners of those four matches on Sunday, one team from each zone, will go to Tokyo.
Yanick Moreira had 15 goals for Angola, who were eliminated after the defeat.
Record: Slovenia 1-0, Angola 0-2.
Next: Slovenia play Poland on Thursday. Both will advance to the semifinals on Saturday in Kaunas.
VENEZUELA 94, SOUTH KOREA 80
Also on Wednesday in Kaunas, Venezuela saw its 21-point lead in the third period wane before holding on to overtake South Korea.
Venezuela led 59-38 at the start of the third period before South Korea responded with a 26-6 attack and moved closer to 65-64 on a 3-pointer by Byeon Junhyeong late in the period. But Venezuela did not let the advantage slip and beat the Koreans 29-16 in the final 11 minutes.
Heissler Guillent led Venezuela with 17 points, while Pedro Chourlo and Michael Carrera each had 16.
Record: Venezuela 1-1, South Korea 0-1.
Next: South Korea faces Lithuania on Thursday. FIBA indicated that Venezuela will advance to the semifinals on Saturday so the winner of the other match will also advance.
KEY TO CROATIA
MEXICO 72, RUSSIA 64
Mexico outscored Russia 19-7 in the third period, the decisive 10 minutes in what turned into an eight-point victory.
Francisco Cruz scored 21 goals for Mexico. Semen Antonov led Russia with 13 points.
Mexico trailed 38-31 at the start of the third period and ended with a 41-26 streak.
Record: Mexico 1-1, Russia 0-1.
Next: Russia faces Germany on Thursday in a match that is decisive in their Olympic hopes.
BRAZIL 94, CROATIA 67
Rafael Hettsheimer scored 20 points and Brazil won one of the tickets in the semifinal. Bruno Caboclo added 17 points for Brazil, who will have a break until Saturday.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 with Croatia.
Record: Brazil 2-0, Croatia 0-1.
Next: Croatia will have a decisive match against Tunisia on Thursday.
BELGRADE, KEY TO SERBIA
SERBIA 83, PHILIPPINES 76
Boban Marjanovic had 25 points and 10 boards for Serbia to reach the semifinals with a hard-fought win.
Ognjen Dobric added 16 for the winners. Kakou Ange Franck Williams Kouame led the Philippines with 17 points.
Records: Serbia 2-0, Philippines 0-1.
Next: The Philippines will face the Dominican Republic in an elimination match on Thursday.