Luka Doncic once again captivated 11,003 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena with a remarkable performance. However, despite his impressive scoring display, Slovenia lacked the stamina to overcome Lithuania in the Classification Games 5-8.
The final score stood at 100-84, propelling Jonas Valanciunas and his team into a fierce showdown with Latvia for the fifth position, while Slovenia is set to engage in a neighboring rivalry, facing Italy in the seventh-place game.
Jonas Valanciunas achieved his eighth double-double in a FIBA Basketball World Cup game, edging closer to Jose Ortiz, who has held the lead for the past 30 years with 10 double-doubles.
Valanciunas tallied 24 points and 12 rebounds, and if he participates in the fifth-place game, he has a chance to break into the top 5 in World Cup history for rebounding.
He needs just five more rebounds to surpass Pau Gasol and secure the fifth spot.
Lithuania and Latvia had aspirations of meeting in the final, but circumstances have led them to compete for fifth place, promising an electrifying atmosphere in Manila.
Special recognition goes to Vaidas Kariniauskas, who provided 10 assists without scoring a single point. The only other player to achieve this feat in the last 30 years was Marcelo Milanesio for Argentina in 1994.
Slovenia received 29 points from Luka Doncic, but his shooting performance was subpar, going 7-of-21 from the field. He also contributed 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists.
“It was tough to find energy after the loss to Serbia, but I’m happy we found it, I’m happy we came really prepared and ready for this game. We’re not gonna give up,” Jonas Valanciunas said.
“We’re playing for our country, for the fans, for people who come to support us, people who are watching us on TV screens. We’re gonna fight until the end.”
Watch the game highlights between Lithuania and Slovenia in the Class. Games 5-8 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: