Basketball star Luka Doncic left the World Cup finals in Manila with a win after sporting disappointment in the knockout stage.
Luka Doncic will have to settle for seventh place with Slovenia at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The playmaker led his Slovenian team to an 89:85 (42:41) victory over Italy on Saturday and thus to seventh place. Doncic contributed 29 points, ten rebounds and eight assists in the victory. But he also lost nine balls. Realistically, the tournament’s best pitcher award can no longer be taken away from him. Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will need to score more than 51 points in Sunday’s bronze match against the United States.
Doncic as a figurehead
Doncic was the standout figure at the World Cup in the absence of many other basketball stars. Even the day before the final, hundreds of fans were waiting in front of the giant hotel in Manila for the professional Dallas Mavericks player – not the players from finalists Germany and Serbia. On the sporting front, seventh place is likely to disappoint the ambitious Doncic. In the 89:100 win over Canada in the quarterfinals, the Slovenians’ leader was also sent off for receiving two technical fouls. Doncic’s most important success remains the 2017 European Championship title, with the 24-year-old yet to play the dominant role he does now.
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