France Defeats Doncic-led Slovenia, Advance to Olympic Finals

“I needed to make this play for my staff. And I did it.

These had been amongst Nicolas Batum’s first phrases after his unimaginable, game-saving block on Slovenia’s Klemen Prepelic within the ultimate seconds of France’s semi-final matchup towards Slovenia within the Olympics.

Nonetheless, whereas Batum’s outstretched hand was the deciding consider France’s 90-89 win, what garnered extra press, was the tip of Luka Doncic’s unimaginable streak of worldwide wins and the harm he sustained within the course of.

Earlier than Slovenia’s matchup with France, the Doncic-led squad was 17-0 with him on the court docket and although the staff misplaced, Doncic nonetheless dominated in a number of aspects of the sport; he dropped 16 factors, 10 rebounds, and 18 assists — solely the third triple-double in Olympic males’s basketball historical past.

“I don’t assume we performed nice, however we had been there,” Doncic stated postgame. “We had the final likelihood, and we didn’t make it.”

Whereas Slovenia will play Australia in a matchup for a bronze medal (the primary medal for both nation in basketball of their respective Olympic historical past), France strikes on to face the US within the gold medal recreation.

Group USA has been traditionally dominant in basketball however France has had the higher hand on the U.S just lately (France has crushed them in each of their final two conferences, together with their opening recreation on the Tokyo Olympics).

France is now 5-0 within the Olympics and has solely been within the title recreation twice earlier than — in 1948, after which in 2000.

Led by Batum, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier, the Frenchmen have an actual shot at snagging gold in Tokyo.

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