After losing their third straight game at the 2011 EuroBasket, San Antonio Spurs affiliate Erazem Lorbek and Slovenia are in the a must win situation against Finland to keep their Olympic hopes alive.
Both teams started out slow on offense, as the first quarter ended 14-12 in Slovenia’s favor.
During the second quarter, the Slovenian’s tried to pull away. They outscored Finland 28-16 in the period and built a 14-point lead, 42-28 heading into the second half.
However, Finland would not go away easily. They held Slovenia to just 12 third quarter points while scoring 20 points on their own to cut the deficit to just six-points entering the fourth quarter.
Finland tried to keep it close in the fourth quarter and made it a four-point game with just 32 seconds remaining, but Goran Dragic of the Houston Rockets sank two free throws to seal the win for Slovenia.
Lorbek led Slovenia to victory with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes of action, while Petteri Koponen had 14 points for Finland.
Lorbek and the Slovenian national team claimed the final quarterfinal spot with a 67-60 victory over Finland and will next play the Gasol brothers and defending champion Spain.
The quarterfinals start on Wednesday 18:00 (GMT +3) in Kaunas.
The two finalists of the tournament gain automatic slots at next year’s Olympics in London.
The next four teams will advance to an additional 12-nation qualifying event before the games. From that competition, three will make it to the 12-nation Olympic tournament.