In the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Quarter-Finals, Canada and Slovenia engaged in an intense matchup that witnessed 18 lead changes in the first half alone.
Despite this closely contested battle, Canada emerged victorious with a final score of 100-89 in front of an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd in Manila.
This win propels Canada into the Semi-Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena, where they will face Serbia, while Slovenia will compete in Classification Games 5-8.
The game’s first half saw both teams playing at a relentless pace, opting for smaller lineups to counter the offensive threats posed by Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The halftime score was deadlocked at 50 points each, marking one of the most memorable halves in World Cup history.
Coach Jordi Fernandez’s halftime words seemed to inspire Canada as they shifted into a higher gear in the second half.
RJ Barrett shone in the third quarter with 13 points, while Dillon Brooks nailed a pivotal three-pointer early in the second half, contributing to Canada’s seven-point lead.
Despite an initially chilly reception from the crowd, Brooks celebrated his shot with great enthusiasm.
With five minutes left in the third quarter, Canada extended their lead to 10 points, and Slovenia struggled to mount a comeback due to Canada’s exceptional second-half defense.
“Congrats to these guys, they just made history,” said Jordi Fernandez, Canada’s head coach. “This is the best position so far for Canada, congrats to the guys, to the country and to Canada Basketball.
“Tonight was a fight and these guys executed at a high level. It was extremely important to finish possessions because that’s when our fast break starts. We pushed the pace for 40 minutes and it went our way.”
Watch the game highlights between Canada and Slovenia in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: