25 August, 2023
10 September
77 Luka Doncic (SLO)
Game Report
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Doncic two assists short of triple-double, Slovenia finish seventh

MANILA (Philippines) - It was an emotional game in the Mall of Asia Arena, as 10,775 fans came to enjoy one more all-round performance by Luka Doncic, but also to give a proper goodbye ovation to Luigi Datome, who played the last game of his amazing career.

Luigi Datome finished his career in style facing Luka Doncic

Slovenia won the game 89-85, tying their best finish set back at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 in Spain. Italy finished in eighth spot, they haven't finished as high since 1998.


Turning point: Slovenia were a step or two in front of Italy for most of the game, but Marco Spissu inspired a comeback which made saw Italy take an 85-83 lead with just over a minute left on the game clock.

Coach Aleksander Sekulic called a timeout, drew up a play, Italy tried double teaming Luka Doncic, but that only opened the passing angle for him to deliver his eighth assist of the day, finding Jakob Cebasek wide open in the corner.

The forward knocked down his second three-pointer of the game to get Slovenia back in front, and they protected that lead from the line the rest of the way.

TCL Player of the Game: Luka Doncic did not achieve the first ever triple-double in FIBA Basketball World Cup history, but he came close to it with another sublime effort in almost 38 minutes of action.


Doncic finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, and after the game, he gave his TCL Player of the Game trophy to the youngest fan in the crowd, whose parents were holding the sign saying "Luka, I was named after you."

Basketball is beautiful, people.

Stats don't lie: Italy shot just 29 percent from three-point range, not enough in a close game like this, where Slovenia's 45 percent felt like they were making all the big shots, all the time.

Bottom line: Slovenia did their part, they wanted more, but without Vlatko Cancar, their chances became slim before the World Cup even started. Klemen Prepelic and Jaka Blazic sat out this game.

Italy got 22 points from Spissu, but also provided a touching moment near the end of the game. Luigi Datome left the court one last time, earning a standing ovation from a ten-thousand strong crowd in Manila, to acknowledge everything he's done over the course of his long lasting career.

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