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Canada spoils Luka Doncic's 'home stand', ousts Slovenia from FIBA WC contention

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spoiled Luka Doncic's grand Philippine debut. Kennelf Monteza
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--The much-anticipated Luka Doncic's first game in the Philippines ended in dismay for him and Slovenia as Canada moved on to the FIBA World Cup semifinals with a 100-89 win in the last quarterfinal game of the tournament on Wednesday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

With 11,710 fans mainly cheering for Doncic as if it was a home game for either Slovenia or the Dallas Mavericks--and also jeering for Dillon Brooks--Shai Gilgeous-Alexander provided the silencer for Canada, putting up 31 points.

More importantly, however, defense paved the way for Canada to win the quarterfinal as the team held Slovenia to just 39 points in the second half after letting them score 50 in the first half.

Frustrations mounted further for Slovenia as Doncic was thrown out of the game with 6:37 left after incurring two technical fouls.

Slovenia tried to pull off a comeback after Doncic's ejection, but the team could only trim the lead to nine.

Gilgeous-Alexander also put up a double-double with 10 rebounds alongside four assists and two steals for Canada, which will face Serbia in the semifinals on Friday night.

RJ Barrett added 24 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

Doncic finished with 26 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals, while Klemen Prepelic added 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one steal for Slovenia, which fell to a classification game against Lithuania on Thursday night.

With Slovenia's loss, Serbia and Germany booked the last two outright seats for the Paris Olympics men's 5x5 basketball event next year for being the top two European teams in the FIBA World Cup.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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