Canada eliminated Slovenia from Luka Doncic, frustrated, annoyed and then excluded, Wednesday in Manila (100-89) to qualify for the first semi-final of a Basketball World Cup in its history, where it will face Serbia.
Doncic, the star of the Dallas Mavericks, was sent off six minutes from time for a second technical foul after claiming a foul against him for the umpteenth time when he was tight close throughout the game.
He then ironically applauded the presidential basket, where the officials of the International Federation (Fiba) are seated, before the public of the Mall of Asia Arena, booing the decision of the referees, chanted “Referees sucks, referees sucks” (” referees, you stink”).
“Playing for your country gives a lot of emotion, in general I manage to control myself. But my exclusion is unfair” declared Doncic in a press conference, when he was not initially announced.
“I have to be better for my team,” he added, declining to comment on his verbal exchange with the officials.
“It’s difficult when you’re stuck all game. We’re working on it. He often has the ball, after a while it’s frustrating and tiring for Luka… Emotions take over. I know that it’s not good but it’s very difficult. That’s what makes Luka so special. It’s difficult to defend against him in a legal way,” said Slovenian coach Aleksander Sekulic.
When Doncic was sent off, the score was then 92-77 for Canada, who had also just lost Doncic’s watchdog for the entire game, Dillon Brooks, also sent off for a second technical foul.
The exclusion of Doncic (26 pts, 5 assists) galvanized the Slovenians, who returned to nine lengths (94-85) four minutes then 1 min 20 sec from the end (98-89), but in the end too short against Canada by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31 pts, 40 overall).
Germany will face the United States for a place in the final after having put an end, Wednesday in Manila, to the adventure of Latvia (81-79), which missed the winning shot at the siren.
The Mannschaft, third in Euro-2022, will play its first world semi-final on Friday since 2002, when it won the bronze medal.
However, it was hot against the Latvians who, for their first World Cup, almost achieved a new feat.
After successfully overcoming a significant deficit against France in the first round and then Spain in the second, they were very close to making up for a disbursement of 14 points with 6 min 30 sec remaining.
Returning to two lengths 32 seconds from the siren (81-79), they had the ball for extra time or the win after a “floater” missed by Dennis Schröder.
But Davis Bertans, quite skilful throughout the match at long distance (20 pts, 6/13), this time missed the target, his jump shot bouncing off the hoop.