FIBA World Cup

Luka Doncic claims unfair treatment from referees in loss to Canada, tips hat to Dillon Brooks

Delfin Dioquino

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Luka Doncic claims unfair treatment from referees in loss to Canada, tips hat to Dillon Brooks

DEFENSE. Slovenia's Luka Doncic in action with Canada's Dillon Brooks in their quarterfinal game in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Slovenia misses out on the FIBA World Cup semifinal bus as Luka Doncic blows his top and gets ejected with over six minutes left in their loss to Canada

MANILA, Philippines – Luka Doncic admitted emotions got the best of him, but he claimed unfair treatment from the referees as he helplessly watched Slovenia bid goodbye to its semifinal dream in the FIBA World Cup.

With a historic final four berth on the line, Doncic blew his top and got ejected with over six minutes remaining in their 100-89 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, September 6.

Frustration led to ejection, with Doncic incurring his second technical foul for continuous complaining over what he felt were missed calls as Canada threw everything but the sink in an attempt to shut the NBA star down.

“I think everybody knows what my frustration was. I’m playing for the national team, it’s a lot of emotions. A lot of times, I don’t control myself,” said Doncic, who finished with 26 points.

“But you know, the referees told one of the guys, ‘We’re not going to call a foul on him because he’s coming at us.’ I think it’s not fair. I know I complain a lot, but I don’t think it’s fair.”

Slovenia entered the break tied with Canada at 50-50 as Doncic ended the first half with a game-high 17 points, but not without being made to labor for each bucket as Dillon Brooks and Lu Dort took turns guarding him.

Embracing the role of a villain in this World Cup, Brooks took the defensive assignment to heart and denied Doncic the ball every possible chance, much to the annoyance of the Dallas Mavericks star.

When Brooks got tossed out in the fourth quarter for taunting, Dort assumed responsibility of defending Doncic, who completely lost his temper following a missed shot tightly defended by the Oklahoma City Thunder guard.

“They’ve been playing very physical with me, but if you say that, it’s not fair,” said Doncic.

Not matter how much Brooks tried to get under his skin, though, Doncic tipped his hat to the newly acquired Houston Rockets forward.

Brooks netted 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists as he helped Canada reach the World Cup semifinals for the first time in history.

“I think Dillon played great. He was very physical, like he always does. A lot of people don’t like him but I respect him for what he does. And he does that stuff really good,” said Doncic.

As Slovenia moves forward from a disappointing exit, Doncic put emphasis on keeping a cool head.

“It starts with me. I got to be better for my team. With all the emotions, playing for your country, you’re going to give your best, you want to die out there. It starts with me,” said Doncic. –

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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.