FIBA World Cup

Doncic ejected as Canada holds off Slovenia to complete FIBA World Cup semis cast

Delfin Dioquino

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Doncic ejected as Canada holds off Slovenia to complete FIBA World Cup semis cast

PESTERED. Luka Doncic in action for Slovenia against Canada in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Frustration consumes Slovenia star Luka Doncic as Canada notches a breakthrough semifinal stint in the FIBA World Cup, joining the USA, Germany, and Serbia in the final four

MANILA, Philippines – Canada kept its poise when Luka Doncic could not as it reached the FIBA World Cup semifinals for the first time with a 100-89 win over Slovenia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, September 6.

Stellar all tournament long, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander delivered a 31-point, 10-rebound masterclass to lead the Canadians to a breakthrough final four stint past a Slovenian side that played without Doncic down the stretch.

Frustration consumed Doncic for what he felt were missed calls as the Dallas Mavericks star got ejected with still over six minutes to play after picking up his second technical foul for continuous complaining.

“It starts with me, I need to be better for my team,” said Doncic.

Slovenia threatened a comeback when it got within 85-94, but Gilgeous-Alexander steadied the ship with a couple of clutch buckets late as Canada completed the semifinal cast, joining the USA, Germany, and Serbia.

RJ Barrett backstopped Gilgeous-Alexander with 24 points and 9 rebounds, while Dillon Brooks added 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists prior to being tossed out just moments before Doncic got the boot.

“We started getting stops defensively, been able to run transitions when we are at our best,” said Gilgeous-Alexander. “We are not satisfied, we want to win gold.”

Brooks – embracing the resounding boos from the sold-out crowd – pestered Doncic throughout, although the Slovenian ace still finished with a team-high 26 points on top of 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Klemen Prepelic tallied 22 points and 5 rebounds in the loss that prevented Slovenia from advancing to the World Cup semifinals for the first time in history.

Canada faces Serbia in the final four on Friday, September 8, at the same venue, while the USA tangles with Germany, which lived to fight another day after a nail-biting 81-79 escape against Latvia earlier on Wednesday.

Franz Wagner returned from a four-game injury absence and chalked up 16 points and 8 rebounds as the Germans bucked a horrendous shooting performance from Dennis Schroder.

Schroder scored just 9 points on a dismal 4-of-26 clip from the field, but Germany held on to the victory thanks to Latvian star Davis Bertans missing his game-winning three-pointer with time winding down.

The loss marked the end of a fairytale run by Latvia, which beat defending champion Spain and perennial contender France in the earlier rounds.

Both semifinal games are sudden deaths, with the winners advancing to the championship game on Sunday, September 10. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.