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Basketball

Basketball at Tokyo Olympics: Quarterfinals round-up!

A round-up of all four matches and key moments.

Team USA Basketball Player Kevin Durant
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The legendary Kevin Durant (Source: Bleacher Report)

By

Ananth Narasimman

Updated: 2021-08-03T22:23:14+05:30

The Olympics have given us some of the most awe-striking moments we have seen in basketball. We go through all the emotions, whether it is extreme joy or heartbreak, and this Olympics was no different. We had some of the best in the world go head to head, each vying to achieve their Olympic dreams by getting the gold and singing the national anthem with pride and immense joy post that. The Quarterfinals gave us some juicy matchups as we had teams loaded with talent battle it out, giving it their all. If you had missed the matches, we got you covered as we summarise the games.

1) Slovenia vs Germany

Slovenia's 16 game winning streak was under threat by an underrated German squad who are capable of beating the best on their day. Luka Doncic annihilated his opponents once again as he controlled the tempo, drove into the paint at will and dished it out to teammates when needed, ending with a near triple-double. Zoran Dragic took the scoring onus for Slovenia as he dominated along with Luka to set up an exciting Semi-finals with France and Rudy Gobert. Slovenia came into the tournament as a darkhorse and made their presence felt in a historic Olympic campaign for the country and its 2.1 million people. Germany, unfortunately, came into the campaign without their best player in Dennis Schroder, and that showed as Slovenia dominated without anyone answering back.

2) France vs Italy

This game proved to be the best one out of the Quarterfinals as the two traditional rivals went head to head without giving an inch to the other. Anyone watching the game would have loved the old school slugfest that it turned out to be, with each team trying to dominate the paint and come up with second-chance points to give their team the advantage. Rudy Gobert's dominant inside presence was felt early as the Utah Jazz Center took control of the paint and bullied the smaller Italians, giving his team the much-needed outlet in case one of them got in trouble. Defenders like Gallinari, who had an efficient 21 point game himself, stood no chance for the 'Stifle Tower', who led his team in scoring with a dominant 22 point game. Italy eventually had no answer for France's superior talent and post-play but surely could go home with their heads held high as they left it all on the court. Next up for France would be Luka Magic and Slovenia.

3) Argentina vs Australia

Medal favourites Australia got off to a rocky start against Argentina, with a lacklustre first quarter that saw them being dominated both on the post and the perimeter. The Argentinian's led by Campazzo and Luis Scola took the game to the Boomers and developed a feeling that there might be an upset brewing in the corner. The Australians, to their credit, came back with a vengeance in the second quarter and played intense defence that left Argentina struggling to create chances on the offensive end. The Argentinians battled hard till the third quarter, but the Australians managed to kick their game into overdrive and put on a dominant display that will be remembered for ages. Their defense led by 76ers star Matisse Thybulle wreaked havoc and caused the puzzled Argentinians to turnover the ball unnecessarily. Patty Mills and Joe Ingles did what they were brought in to do as both got off to pretty rocky starts but eventually found a way to start making shots and ended up with a combined 29 points, which were crucial for their teams' victory. Luis Scola, a legend in the international game, bows out but on an unfortunate note. Not the way he would have wanted to end his legendary career, but at least his team gave it their all.

4) Team USA vs Spain

Ricky Rubio's astonishing 38 points were still not enough for Spain as Kevin Durant and Team USA's other stars seemed too much for the Spaniards. KD finally seemed to be getting into a rhythm as he scored 29 with ease, showing us why he is one of the best in the world, if not the best. Team USA's defense picked up from their previous games as they thwarted the Spanish attack and stopped it dead in their tracks. The USA, now, have an exciting matchup with Australia in the Semifinals in a game that just might decide the outcome of the gold medal. It was a sad ending for yet another pair of illustrious brothers who have dominated the international stage for as long as they did. Pau and Marc Gasol bowed out without scoring a point, putting an end to the careers of two of the most revered Basketball players to put on a Spain jersey.




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