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‘Not fair’: Luka Doncic decries officiating as Canada imposes physical defense in QF win

Photo: FIBA

Luka Doncic didn’t appreciate the officiating conducted by the referees at their 2023 FIBA World Cup quarterfinal loss against Canada.

In the postgame of their 100-89 defeat on Wednesday, Doncic expressed his frustration against the officials as he further slammed the unjust treatment to one of his teammates as they went toe-to-toe in a highly physical match with the Road Warriors.

As the final horn was sounded at the Mall of Asia Arena, Canada (21) finished at a much lower foul rate than Slovenia (29).

“I think everybody knows what my frustration was. Playing for the national team, it’s a lot of emotions. A lot of times I have to control myself which I be having problems with. But you know, referees told one of our guys that ‘I will not call a foul to that guy because he is coming at us,’” Doncic revealed.

“I think this is not fair. I know I complain a lot, but I don’t think this is fair. They’ve been playing very physical with me. But if you say that, it’s not fair.”

With Doncic spearheading his national squad, Canada unleashed the polarizing Dillon Brooks as their top defender over the Dallas Mavericks superstar.

Throughout the course of the pivotal match, Brooks made his sticky, irritating defense be felt at the side of Doncic, which even drew plenty of ire and sobbing from the jam-packed Filipino crowd.

The aggressiveness of Brooks and his Canadian teammates brought Doncic to his emotional limit – prompting the Slovenian sensation to pick up a premature exit as he was called for his second technical with 6:37 remaining.

Doncic finished the night with 26 markers, but his 8-of-20 shooting and visible exhaustion were massively affected by the swarming imposed by Brooks and other rotating defenders of Canada like Lu Dort. 

In the end, Doncic has no ill feelings planted against Brooks.

Despite their rough sequences the entire play, Doncic can only tip his hat off to the controversial forward who helped Canada enter the Semifinals with his 14 markers and three triples.

“I think Dillon [Brooks] played great. He was very physical like he always does. A lot of people don’t like him, but I respect him for what he does, and he does that stuff really good,” Doncic said.

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