Czechs rout Greece, secure last Tokyo Olympics slot | Inquirer Sports

Czechs rout Greece, secure last Tokyo Olympics slot

/ 03:10 PM July 05, 2021

Czech Republic OQT

Photo from Fiba

BELGRADE – The Czech Republic became the last team to seal a berth in the Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball tournament after blowing away Greece 97-72 in the final of their qualifying event on Sunday.

Patrik Auda led the charge with 20 points as the Czechs, who stunned tournament hosts Canada 103-101 in Saturday’s thrilling semifinal, will join holders the United States, France and Iran in Group A at the July 23 to Aug. 8 Olympics.


Italy, European champions Slovenia and Germany sealed their own spots in Tokyo earlier on Sunday. The Italians stunned 2016 silver medallists Serbia 102-95, Slovenia beat Lithuania 96-85, and Germany overpowered Brazil 75-64 in tournaments played across Europe.

Italy and Germany will join Australia and Nigeria in Group B at the Games while Slovenia, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time as an independent nation, is heading to Group C alongside world champions Spain, Argentina and hosts Japan.

Serbia was without the NBA regular season’s Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, who pulled out of the qualifying tournament due to fatigue, and the home side sorely missed the Denver Nuggets center against Italy.

The Italians carved out a 25-point lead midway through the third quarter after nailing nine three-pointers in the first half and then held off a late Serbia rally to reach their first Olympics since Athens 2004, when they won the silver medal.


Guard Nicolo Mannion led the Italians with 24 points, Achille Polonara added 22, and Simone Fontecchio chipped in with 21 as Serbia’s porous defense failed to deal with their rivals’ long-range shooting and offensive rebounds.

Having won the European title in 2017, Slovenia advanced on the back of an effervescent performance from Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who racked up 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds against the Lithuanians.


After a balanced first half, Slovenia pulled away in the second and silenced the raucous home fans in Kaunas as 22-year-old Doncic pulled all the strings to win the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.

“I don’t care about the MVP award because what matters is that we won the tournament and reached the Olympics for the first time,” a delighted Doncic said in a courtside interview.

“Like every child in Slovenia, I too dreamed all my life of being in the Olympic games. We are a small nation but we have a lot of potential and we’ve made history here.”

Germany knocked out hosts Croatia in Split on Saturday and followed up with a superb defensive performance against Brazil as they led throughout the low-scoring contest.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Moritz Wagner stood out with a game-high 28 points for the Germans, while Brazil guard Vitor Benite scored only nine at the other end after he was confined to making a mere three of 18 shots from the field.


Italy, Germany and Slovenia clinch Olympic basketball berths

History as Doncic leads Slovenia to first Olympic basketball berth

TAGS: Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Tokyo Olympics

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.