The Slovenian men’s basketball squad is moving on to the semifinal round in the Tokyo Olympics after a convincing 94-70 win over Germany in the quarterfinals. They improved to 4-0 in the event, winning their games by an average of 21.3 points per game. Former Virginia big man Mike Tobey continued his impressive tear, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Tobey has notched a double-double in three of Slovenia’s four games, with his teammate Luka Dončić being the only other player to accomplish the feat so far.
Against Germany, Tobey shot 5-for-6 from the field, including going 2-for-3 from three.
With the win, Slovenia will face France in the semifinals on Thursday, August 5, at 7am. The USA will play Australia in the other semi, which will take place at 12:15am the same day.
Slovenia is potentially the hottest team in the Olympics right now, playing well as a team and dominating their opponents. Although they are ranked No. 16 in the FIBA world rankings, it’s easy to see that they have a legitimate shot at the gold.
“He’s not coming here to show off,” Slovenia coach Aleksander Sekulic said of Dončić after the win over Germany. “He’s coming here to help the team. He came here to have fun on the court, have fun with the guys on the court, and we are here to use him as much as possible, to use his magic.”
Slovenia coach Aleksander Sekulic on Luka's unselfishness: "He's not coming here to show off. He's coming here to help the team. He came here to have fun on the court, have fun with the guys on the court, and we are here to use him as much as possible, to use his magic."— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) August 3, 2021
Tobey has greatly benefitted playing alongside the 22-year-old Slovenian. The duo work well together, especially in the pick-and-pop offense they like to employ. He credited Dončić — who plays with the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA season — with creating that connection.
“He’s one of the best players in the world,” Tobey told Eurohoops.net back in July. “Me? I just kind of came in and played the pick n roll with him. I just tried to do whatever they need me to do in every offensive situation. Roll, go through the pop and just try to play through there. Make the read out of what he’s doing. I give him all the credit for all the chemistry that we were able to get right away.”
Considering Tobey didn’t get the clear to join the Slovenian team as a naturalized player until the middle of June — right before helping the squad qualify for Tokyo — it’s incredible what they’ve been able to do. Through four games, Tobey is averaging a double-double with 11.5 points and 12.5 rebounds.
“A couple of months ago, I didn’t even know where Slovenia was,” Tobey told the media following one of Slovenia’s wins. “This is an unknown dream coming true, and I don’t want to wake up.”