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Slovenia feels love, support of Pinoy fans

Luka Doncic and the rest of Slovenia feel the love and adulation of the Pinoy fans. (Photo, FIBA)

Playing its first game in the Philippines at the start of its FIBA World Cup quarterfinals match with Canada, Slovenia felt the love and support given by the most passionate basketball fans in the world.

Luka Doncic couldn’t finish the game, but the rest of the Slovenians were continuously cheered no end and found the Mall of Asia Arena more like a surrogate homecourt for them even after bowing to the Canadians, 89-100, Wednesday night.

“It’s just an amazing atmosphere here,” said Slovenia coach Alexander Sekulic. “We felt like the whole arena was for us. All Philippines were for us. We have some guys who don’t like us, but other than that, we really, really appreciate the support of the fans in the Philippines.”

Mike Tobey and Zoran Dragic accepted that Luka Doncic is the star of the show, but as their teammates, they also felt the care given by the Filipinos to the entire Slovenia squad.

“It was crazy. It was nice to see how they cheer for Slovenia,” said Dragic. “We are very surprised and happy that we have fans here in the Philippines.”

“It’s amazing,” added Tobey. “I think they really love Luka and it gave us energy. We really appreciate that.”  

 Doncic finished with 26 points, but got ejected midway the final quarter after picking up his second technical foul.

Following the loss, Slovenia will be relegated to a classification match where it faces Lithuania set Thursday, 8:30 p.m. 

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