Luka Doncic scores 48 in Olympic debut, Slovenia tops Argentina

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NBC Sports 26 July, 2021 - 08:00am 44 views

Is Slovenia basketball in the Olympics?

Slovenia played its first-ever Olympic basketball game against Argentina early Monday morning, and Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic ran wild to guide his country to an exhilarating 118-100 victory. NBC OlympicsLuka Doncic sensational in Slovenia's first-ever Olympic basketball game

Who scored the most points in an Olympic basketball game?

Luka Doncic delivered one of the most dominant scoring performances in Olympic history, recording 48 points in Slovenia's 118-100 win over Argentina. Sporting News AUTokyo Olympics: Luka Doncic dazzles in Olympic debut with 48 points as Slovenia defeat Argentina

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TOKYO (Japan) - If you thought you'd see the best of Slovenia's Luka Doncic had to offer at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas where he ran riot against Angola, Poland, Venezuela and Lithuania to average an insane 21.3 points, 11.3 assists and 8.0 rebounds, you were wrong.

He was simply sensational in his Olympic debut in Tokyo on Monday, and against a country that made it to the Final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, Argentina.

Doncic had 48 points - 31 in the first half - along with 11 rebounds and five assists as Slovenia rolled to a 118-100 triumph.

The performance was sublime, dazzling and history making. The 48 points were the most ever scored by a European in an Olympic basketball game.

"The best player in the world" is what Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez called him after the Group C opener, a game that tipped off before most Europeans normally get out of bed.

Knowing that Doncic was making his Olympic debut probably led to a lot of early risers on the old continent. His performance came like a shot of espresso.

On one play in the second half, he delivered a spellbinding behind-the-back pass on a successful pick-and-roll with Mike Tobey, who is one of the primary beneficiaries of Doncic's creativity.

Even if Argentina had had their 2004 Olympic MVP and international hoops legend Manu Ginobili in his prime in this contest, one has to wonder if the result would have been any different.

Ginobili watched, transfixed by the brilliance of the 22-year-old Doncic.

Tremendo dominio del juego de parte de Doncic. 31 pts en un tiempo. Una bestia.

There is a lot of basketball to be played but the evidence is there for all to see. Doncic has been an unstoppable force this summer and Slovenia will be liking their chances of reaching the podium thanks to their talisman. In fact, who could blame them for setting their sights on the gold medal?

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Mike Tobey records double-double in Olympic debut as Slovenia beats Argentina

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Big start for the former UVA big man.

Doncic had 48 points in the victory and dished five assists.

Tobey is garnering a lot of on online chatter with his performance, with some Dallas Maverick fans on Twitter wanting Doncic to bring the 7-footer back to the NBA with him. After going un-drafted in 2016, Tobey has made a solid career for himself playing internationally in Spain. He played one season with Valencia, then moved to Iberostar Tenerife where he was named FIBA Intercontinental Cup MVP en route to a title. Tobey returned to Valencia in 2018, and has played with them ever since. He averaged 9.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season.

Slovenia is one of four teams in Group C — Spain, Japan, and Argentina are the others — and could have a good chance at moving on to the next round. Spain defeated Japan in their opening game, and Slovenia will next face Japan on Thursday at 12:40am.

Current Virginia center Francisco Caffaro was on the opposite side of the court from Tobey in the tournament opener as a member of the Argentinian squad. Caffaro only played four minutes, recording three fouls and no points.

On the women’s side, Aisha Mohammed Balarabe and the Nigerian squad will face off against former UVA star Dawn Staley and the USA on Tuesday. The US women are favorites for the gold, and they have won the last six Olympic gold medals in the sport. Staley, now coaching the US team, contributed to the gold medal squads in 1996, 2000, and 2004. The USA-Nigeria game is scheduled for 12:40am ET.

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