Australia leaves Luka Doncic without a medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Luka Doncic, one of the stars of these Tokyo Olympics, he will go home without a medal because an Australian cyclone called Patty Mills, that with some prodigious 42 points and 9 assists gave Australia the bronze, the first basketball medal in its history (93-107).

At the party of Doncic (22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists), the king was Mills. The Australian scored, assisted, fouled and moved how, when and where he wanted. The Australian flag bearer, the first of Aboriginal origin in the Olympic history of his country, added the first medal for his team, after losing it in Rio 2016 against Spain.

His feat breaks the beautiful history of the Slovenian team, conjured in a prodigious summer to climb from the pre-Olympic to glory. He had never lost a game with the great player of the Dallas Mavericks on the parquet, including the Eurobasket 2017, the pre-Olympic and Tokyo 2020, but he broke that streak just in the most important moments: the semifinals and the match for the bronze. In one it was the hand of the French Nicola Batum with a cap for history, and in another the phenomenal performance of Mills.

Australia started as usual, defending intensely with a zone that advanced three players on the triple line to avoid the Slovenian outside shot, fast in the transition and with English percussive (2-9, min. 3).

Doncic, who was not there, already had his pluses and minuses with Dante Exum, but he scored and from one of his frictions he took out an unsportsmanlike thing with which Slovenia turned the game around thanks to a triple from Klemen Prepelic (15-13, min. 7). Australia was not daunted, chained two transitions and a robbery of Thybulle for an even quarter final (19-20).

Mills hit the bar to pull his own, although the second Slovenian unit resisted with rapid transitions in a full-speed match. The ocean defense was leaking, so the technician stopped it Brian Goorjian to adjust. It cost them, but they blocked the roads Mike Tobey while Mills was still in his ‘show’: in the 17th minute, 25 points of Australia’s 45 were his (35-45).

Slovenia reacted, but always encountered opposition from Mills, who both scored and served balls to Jock Landale; and with a spectacular ending of Matisse Thybulle, who first forced a 2 + 1 and then stole to kill two-handed with a spectacular jump. Doncic was not happy: a protest cost him the technique, already with the meeting in rest time (45-53).

The Europeans still could not find their leader, well covered by Thybulle, and the party was where Australia wanted: at times running, others looking for Landale inside, who beat Tobey all. Not even when the versatile Slovenian-American pivot hit the triple did he do much good for his team, because then English did it (52-64, min. 25).

Alien to the human, Mills was still in his private exhibition in search of the bronze medal. He was already going for 36 points to put his team ten up (62-72, min. 28), while Doncic was desperate to try triples without success, with only one success in his eight attempts so far. Fortunately for him, Prepelic kept his team and 67-78 seemed even short for Australia at the end of the third quarter.

That it was short was demonstrated by the Slovenians in four minutes, because with a 13-5 run they put the duel in a fist (80-83, min. 33) and with Doncic, it seemed, more in tune. Mills came to the rescue by forcing an unsportsmanlike Jaka Blazic and assisting Exum for the triple, the same one who robbed Doncic to hang himself and put the 80-90.

The Slovenian genius put the triple machine to work, but found that the ‘Boomers’ also had firepower to pull from, English first and Kay later (86-102). Doncic’s medal will have to wait. It was time for Mills, and Australia, an Olympic medalist in basketball for the first time.

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