Luka Dončić and the Slovenian national team are playing Team USA, Montenegro, Greece, Spain and Japan as part of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup 2023.
USA, August 12th, in Malaga, Spain, 21.30 local, 2.30 CT
Slovenia will face Team USA Saturday, one of the favorites to win it all. Luka Doncic will not play, however, but will sit out as a precaution after receiveing a hard blow in last night’s game against Spain.
“Luka Dončić will miss today’s match against the US as a precaution. The captain received an unfavorable blow in the second quarter of yesterday’s match, and in the national team camp a few days before leaving for Japan, they don’t want to leave anything to chance,” a statement from the team said.
Današnji dvoboj proti Združenim državam Amerike bo preventivno izpustil Luka Dončić. Kapetan #mojtim je namreč v drugi četrti včerajšnje tekme prejel neugoden udarec in v taboru reprezentance nekaj dni pred odhodom na Japonsko ne želijo ničesar prepustiti naključju.@TelemachSi pic.twitter.com/S3DKnbSDd9— Košarkarska zveza SIovenije (@kzs_si) August 12, 2023
USA tops the FIBA power ranking ladder at the moment, and will be a serious test for Slovenia, a team aiming for medals, but struggling at the wing and center positions after multiple injuries.
For Maverick fans, it will be a fun to see old fan favorite Jalen Brunson, who Team USA head coach Steve Kerr has called the natural leader of the team, despite Luka Dončić not suiting up. The two friends are always game for a friendly trash talking and some high intensity competition.
With multiple NBA stars on the team, like Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), and of course ex-Maverick and current New York Knick, Jalen Brunson, USA is the clear favorite in this matchup. There are no real NBA superstars on the team, but instead it consists of a group of good players, who may actually play together as a cohesive unit. Whether that will actually be the case or not, remains to be seen, and this game will be a good preview.
How to watch: Fox Sports 1 (USA), live streaming on Sling TV (USA). Sportklub1, Eon app (Europe)
Japan, August 19th, in Tokyo, Japan, TBA
The last test will be against Japan after the long trip East.
The first group stage for the World Cup starts August 25th with Slovenia playing in Group F in Okinawa, Japan, and face Cape Verde, Georgia, and Venezuela.
If Slovenia advances to the Second Round, it will meet the best two teams from Group E, consisting of Germany, Finland, Australia, and one of the host nations, Japan.