FIBA World Cup: Late Italy collapse spoils Gigi Datome's farewell as Luka Doncic, Slovenia finally win in Pasay, finish 7th

Luka Doncic celebrates with the fans after making a three. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Italy would have given Gigi Datome a fitting farewell as he officially retired from playing basketball.

But the team got busted in the final 40 seconds.

Slovenia stole the win right at the death to the delight of the 10,776 fans at the SM Mall of Asia Arena who came to see Luka Doncic in action one last time in the FIBA World Cup, pipping Italy, 89-85, in the seventh-place game on Saturday night.

Just when Italy thought it already completed a comeback from 15 points down after taking an 85-83 lead with 1:04 remaining, some "Luka Magic" happened in the next play when Doncic found Jakob Cebasek open from beyond the arc for the booming three that put Slovenia ahead, 86-85, with 40.3 seconds left.

Simone Fontecchio, back in action after getting sick on Thursday, tried to put Italy back up, but he was called for an offensive foul, and Gregor Hrovat made two free throws off an ensuing Giampaolo Ricci foul for an 88-85 cushion.

Marco Spissu tried to feed the ball to Fontecchio, but he botched the pass, and Zoran Dragic sealed Slovenia's win with a split from the free-throw line.

Doncic capped his FIBA World Cup stint with 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and three steals, while Mike Tobey added 12 points and three rebounds for Slovenia, which will leave the Philippines with a win after all.

Marco Spissu led Italy, which settled for eighth place, with 22 points, three rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Datome, who is turning 36 this November, only had one point and two rebounds in 10 and a half minutes of play in his swan song.

However, both teams paid respect to Datome when he was subbed out for good with 3:27 left.

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