With a seat to the 2011 EuroBasket semifinals on the line, San Antonio Spurs affiliate Erazem Lorbek and the Slovenian national team gave Pau Gasol and Spain all they can handle at least for one quarter.
Entering the game as the heavy underdogs, but playing with a nothing to lose attitude, Slovenia outscored the Spaniards in the opening period 23-16 and appeared to give the defending champions a run for their money.
However, Spain quickly responded in the second quarter, limiting Slovenia to only eight points in the period and held a 35-31 lead at halftime.
Spain took the lead for good when Felipe Reyes made it 30-28 on a three-point play with 1:36 left in the second quarter.
In the second half, Spain put the game away.
The Spaniards poured in 36 points in the third quarter alone while holding Slovenia to just 14 points to build a 71-45 lead heading into the final quarter.
Down by 26 points against Spain in the fourth quarter, Slovenia never threatened the lead, and eventually loss the quarterfinal match 64-86.
Houston Rockets’ guard Goran Dragic led Slovenia with 14 points while Lorbek finished with seven points, two rebounds, one steal and two turnovers.
The big man from Slovenia clearly struggled against Spain’s big men as he only converted 3-of-11 shots (27.3 percent) from the floor.
Juan Carlos Navarro led Spain with a game-high 26 points, 17 came in the third quarter. Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol added 19 points and 16 rebounds despite shooting just 6-of-17 (35.5 percent) from the field for Spain.
Slovenia will play Lithuania on Thursday at 15:30 (GMT +3) in Kaunas for a chance to finish in the top six, which would keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the Olympics.
The two finalists will gain automatic berths to the 2012 London Olympics and the next four teams will go to an additional qualifying tournament next year.