Gilgeous-Alexander outplays Doncic to send Canada to World Cup semis


This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 31 points to outduel Luka Doncic and send Canada to the Basketball World Cup semifinals for the first time ever with a 100-89 win over Slovenia today in Manila.

The Canadians, who on Sunday clinched their country’s first Olympic men’s basketball berth since 2000, will face Serbia on Friday at 4:45 a.m. ET.

Today’s Canada-Slovenia quarterfinal was billed as a showdown between Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic — both All-NBA First Team guards last season and the two highest scoring players remaining in the World Cup. Some feel SGA, despite considerably less hype, is the better player. They can point to today’s matchup as evidence.

It was a classic Doncic game in almost every sense. The Dallas Mavericks scoring machine led Slovenia with 26 points, but he jacked up 20 shots to get there and went just 4-for-14 from two-point range while not bothering to play much defence. With 6½ minutes left in the fourth quarter and a Slovenia comeback still possible, Doncic was automatically ejected after receiving his second technical foul for complaining about not getting a call. Arguing with the refs is something he does all too often in the NBA as well.

Slovenia went on an 8-1 run immediately after Doncic was tossed, cutting its deficit to nine points with four minutes left. But they never got any closer as their three-point shooting went cold (they could have used their star here) and Gilgeous-Alexander’s steady hand helped right the Canadian ship.

WATCH | Canada dominates Slovenia en route to World Cup semis:

Canada dominates Slovenia on the way to the FIBA World Cup semifinals

Canada’s men’s basketball team, led by a 31 point performance by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, defeat Slovenia 100-89 and will face Serbia in the FIBA World Cup semifinals on Friday.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s 31 points came on an efficient 8-for-12 shooting from the floor and 14-for-16 from the free-throw line. He added 10 rebounds and four assists as Canada took control of a game that was tied 50-50 at halftime by outscoring Slovenia 30-21 in the third quarter.

This game, like so many others in this tournament, was another illustration of why Gilgeous-Alexander placed fifth in NBA MVP voting last season — three spots ahead of Doncic. The Slovenian star might have the better (or at least flashier) offensive skill set. But is he always willing to do what it takes to win, not just put up big stats? No one’s asking that question about SGA.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s supporting cast played well too. Up-and-down RJ Barrett was up today, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SGA’s cousin) scored 14. So did Dillon Brooks, who shot efficiently on offence and drew post-game praise from Doncic for his tough defence. Brooks too was ejected in the fourth quarter as the result of a technical.

Now Canada is off to the final four for the first time in the history of the Basketball World Cup, which was known as the world championship from its inception in 1950 through 2010. If they can get past Serbia, which does not have NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic for this tournament, the Canadians will play for the World Cup title Sunday against either the United States or Germany, who square off Friday at 8:40 a.m. ET. The losers of the semifinals play for bronze on Sunday.

By reaching the semis, all four remaining teams have clinched a spot in next summer’s Olympics in Paris. The U.S. and Canada won the two berths up for grabs at the World Cup for teams from the Americas region, while Serbia and Germany grabbed Europe’s. Slovenia will have to win a last-chance qualifying tournament next July to get to Paris.

Even though Canada has already achieved its main goal of qualifying for the Olympics and has now gone further in the World Cup than ever before, Gilgeous-Alexander insisted after today’s win that his team is not satisfied. “We didn’t come here just to get to the semifinals,” he said. “We want to win gold.”

Read more about the quarterfinal victory over Slovenia in this story by CBC Sports’ Myles Dichter.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! Planetconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment