Olympic qualifying tournaments move into title rounds

·6-min read

Tomas Satoransky ended Canada's hopes of making the Tokyo Olympics.

Satoransky's fading-away, off-the-glass jumper with 1.8 seconds left in overtime wound up being the deciding basket in the Czech Republic's 103-101 win over Canada in an Olympic qualifying tournament semifinal at Victoria, British Columbia, on Saturday.

It was a wild end to a wild game: Canada was down by six with less than 20 seconds left in regulation before Andrew Wiggins scored six points in a span of 7.5 seconds to tie the game, and then the Czechs rallied from a five-point deficit in the final 2:18 of overtime.

Blake Schilb scored 31 points for the Czechs (2-1), who will play either Greece or Turkey in Sunday's title game at Victoria. All four sites of qualifying tournaments — Lithuania, Canada, Serbia and Croatia — will hold championship games Sunday to determine the last four teams in the Olympic men’s basketball field.

Satoransky scored 18 points, Patrik Auda scored 16 and Ondrej Balvin had 14 for the Czechs.

RJ Barrett led Canada with 23 points. Wiggins scored 22, Nickeil Alexander-Walker finished with 21 and Trey Lyles had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the hosts.

Lyles had a baseline jumper rim out as time expired in overtime.

Canada trailed by 12 points with 8:30 left in regulation and was down by nine in the final minute of the fourth before forcing overtime with a frantic comeback. Wiggins scored and got fouled with 17.2 seconds left to get Canada within 94-91, Alexander-Walker stole the inbounds pass and got the ball to Wiggins — whose 3-pointer with 10.7 seconds left knotted the score.

Canada then scored the first five points of overtime, but got outscored 9-2 the rest of the way and will miss the Olympics for the fifth consecutive time. The Canadians last made the Olympic field in men's basketball in 2000.

KAUNAS, LITHUANIA BRACKET

SLOVENIA 98, VENEZUELA 70

Mike Tobey was born in New York, went to high school in New Jersey, played college ball for Virginia, began his pro career in North Carolina and eventually signed with a club in Spain.

He’s now one win from a trip to the Olympics with Slovenia.

Tobey scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks was one rebound shy of a triple-double and Slovenia eased past Venezuela in the semifinals of an Olympic qualifying tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Doncic finished with 23 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for Slovenia (3-0), which will play host Lithuania (3-0) on Sunday with a berth in the Tokyo Olympics on the line.

“It would be amazing. It would be a dream to be in the Olympics,” Doncic said. “Not just me, I think the whole federation of Slovenia and the whole country. They really cheer for us and I hope we get to that.”

Slovenia has rolled through its first three games, winning by 50, 35 and now 28 points. It has trailed for a total of 6 minutes, 55 seconds out of 120 minutes of action — 5.8% of the time — and the entirety of that was in the first quarter of a group play game against Poland.

Tobey was 11 for 17 from the field for Slovenia and Doncic raved about his performance. Tobey played in 138 games at Virginia, tying for the most in program history, and was the ACC's sixth man of the year — as selected by the league's coaches — as a junior in 2014-15.

“He can do a lot and he’s a great defensive guy,” Doncic said. “He’s really helping us down there.”

Zoran Dragic added 12 points for Slovenia, which won the European championship in 2017 but has not qualified for the Olympics in men’s basketball since gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Pedro Chourio and Michael Carrera each scored 16 for Venezuela, which got 10 from David Cubillan.

LITHUANIA 88, POLAND 69

Domantas Sabonis scored 17 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 15 and Lithuania pulled away in the second half to earn a spot in the Kaunas final.

Mantas Kalnietis scored 14 for Lithuania, which led 46-45 at the half and then held Poland scoreless for the first 5:21 of the third quarter.

Rokas Jokubaitis scored 13 and Marius Grigonis had 10 for Lithuania (3-0).

A.J. Slaughter scored 19 for Poland (1-2), which got 10 points apiece from Aleksander Roman Balcerowski, Mateusz Ponitka and Jakub Garbacz.

BELGRADE, SERBIA BRACKET

SERBIA 102, PUERTO RICO 84

Vasilije Micic scored 21 points, Nemanja Bjelica added 18 and host Serbia moved into Sunday’s final at Belgrade against Italy.

Filip Petrusev and Danilo Andjusic each scored 15 points and Milos Teodosic finished with 11 points and 10 assists for Serbia (3-0), which won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Isaiah Pineiro scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting for Puerto Rico (1-2), which got 20 points from George Conditt, 17 from Gian Clavell and a 12-point, 10-assist game from Gary Browne.

ITALY 79, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 59

Italy used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to build what became a 32-point lead, and had no trouble reaching Sunday’s final.

Simone Fontecchio scored 17 points and Stefano Tonut added 14 for Italy, which had all 12 of its players reach the scoring column.

Brandone Edward Francis Ramirez scored 12 for the Dominican Republic (1-2), and Adonys Henriquez added 10.

SPLIT, CROATIA BRACKET

GERMANY 86, CROATIA 76

Germany closed the game on a 19-2 run to stun host Croatia and move into Sunday’s championship game in Split against Brazil.

Maodo Lo scored 29 points and added eight assists for Germany (3-0), which got 13 points from Joshiko Saibou and 11 from Andreas Obst.

Bojan Bogdanovic did all he could for Croatia, scoring 38 points on 11-for-19 shooting. His teammates, combined, totaled 38 points on 12 for 35 shooting. Mario Hezonja finished with 14 for Croatia (1-2), which missed its final seven shots.

BRAZIL 102, MEXICO 74

Vítor Benite scored 22 points and Brazil (3-0) had little trouble with Mexico on its way to Sunday’s final in Split.

Rafael Luz scored 12 points and Alex Garcia scored 11 for Brazil, which outscored Mexico 54-27 from 3-point range.

Francisco Cruz scored 18 for Mexico (1-2), which got 16 from Gustavo Ayon, 12 from Orlando Mendez and 11 from Paul Stoll.

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