After four hard quarters of play, Slovenia—led by Phoenix Suns star, Goran Dragic—proved themselves as a deep and balanced squad capable of making noise. Defeating an inexperienced Australia team, 90-80, Slovenia overcame a lack of talent in the interior with tenacious defense and efficient and plentiful shooting.
Dragic, who led the way with 21 points, filled up the scoreboard with four assists and seven rebounds despite falling into foul trouble early.
For Australia, big man Aron Baynes led the way with 21 of his own before falling victim to a leg injury in the closing minutes. Veterans David Andersen and Joe Ingles contributed nicely, but the Boomers certainly struggled to find scoring in the second unit, after standout youngster Dante Exum finished the game scoreless.
With the two teams competing for top seeds out of Group D, each has a long road ahead. Slovenia, however, certainly came out of the World Cup’s opening day as the stronger squad.