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Doncic, Slovenia reach final, eye Olympics berth

Mike Tobey scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Luka Doncic was one rebound shy of a triple-double as Slovenia eased past Venezuela 98-70 on Saturday in the semifinals of an Olympic qualifying tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Slovenia needs just one more win to earn a trip to the Olympics.

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 was 11 for 17 from the field for Slovenia, and Doncic raved about his performance.

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

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

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.

“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.

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.

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: Vitor 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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