Back in action for Team Brazil today, future Spur Tiago Splitter contributed 19 points to become Brazil's second leading scorer in a tough 80-77 loss to Slovenia. After falling behind 16 points to start the fourth quarter, Brazil battled back, outscoring Slovenia 26 to 13 in the fourth only to fall just short in the end.
Although most do not expect Tiago to make an enormous scoring impact for the Spurs, he managed to shoot over 60% from the field in the losing effort. On the downside, he shot a woeful 3 of 8 from the free throw line, a statistic that should make him fit right in with his future teammates. Don't get mad, you know its true.
Splitter played well down the stretch, creating a Slovenia turnover with only a minute to play. He was also on the free throw line with 45 seconds left where he made 1 of 2, leaving Brazil with a 5 point deficit as time ticked down. Brazil could not close the gap however and after hitting three free throws with one second on the clock, went down to Slovenia by three.
Outside of his offensive performance, Splitter was not a major factor, statistically speaking. He finished with only four rebounds and a single assist. After getting himself into foul trouble against Team USA, Splitter kept it clean against a much less physical Slovenia team. One additional bright spot: only one turnover. Tiago did not take care of the ball very well in his team's loss to the United States, showing he has the ability to adjust his game and fix his mistakes.
It is also good to see Splitter play a different role when his team needed him to. Against the U.S., Barbosa was the team's leading scorer. Against Slovenia, when Barbosa was unable to find his offense (shooting 6 of 15 from the field) Splitter was able to step into the role seamlessly and help keep his team within striking distance down the stretch. All in all, it was another solid performance; enough to get Spurs fans excited for his impending arrival.