Slovenia Upsets Spain at EuroBasket2013 (VIDEO)

Behind Goran Dragic, Slovenia roared back to take down the defending European champion Spaniards at Day 2 of FIBA qualifications. Per and the Eurobasket site: “The story of the day was Slovenia coming back from 10 points down to beat Eurobasket favorite Spain. The Suns’ Goran Dragic led the way for the tournament’s hosts, registering 18 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. The game was more important for Slovenia, who now looks like a strong candidate to earn one of Europe’s six automatic berths to next year’s World Cup, than Spain. The two-time defending Euro champs have finished first (2011 Eurobasket, 2009 Eurobasket, 2006 World Championship) or second (2012 Olympics, 2008 Olympics, 2007 Eurobasket) in six of their last seven international competitions (the exception being the 2010 World Championship), despite losing preliminary-round games in almost all of them. But there wasn’t any clear gamesmanship on Spain’s part. Marc Gasol played all but three minutes on Thursday. […] Slovenia outscored reigning EuroBasket champions Spain 11-1 in the final three minutes to prevail 78-69 and remain the only unbeaten team after the conclusion of Day 2 action in Group C in Celje. During the first 25 minutes of play on Thursday night in Celje Arena the hosts, spurred on by a raucous 5,000-strong home crowd, threw everything at Spain. It still looked though like they would, ultimately, succumb to the reigning European champions. ‘It’s not easy to play against Spain because all their players are so strong technically and tactically but this was motivation for everybody,’ Slovenia coach Bozidar Maljkovic said. ‘Everyone is motivated to give 120% against Spain.’ […] The two sides would go neck and neck the rest of the way, until Slovenia’s magical three-minute final spurt resolved the clash. ‘It was a really tough game for both sides, but we played as a team, we shared the ball when we needed to score, and played tough defence,’ said Goran Dragic. ‘We only had six turnovers, which is great in a game like this.'”