Luka Doncic shows appreciation for ‘amazing’ Filipino fans
MANILA, Philippines — It may have been a tough night for Luka Doncic, but he was nothing but appreciative of the Filipino fans who rallied behind him in his first game in Manila for the Fiba World Cup.
Doncic didn’t get to give the fans the full 40 minutes of action after being ejected from the game with 6:37 left and his team Slovenia eventually getting eliminated by Canada, 100-89, from World Cup contention.
Many fans pulled up at the Mall of Asia Arena donning Doncic’s Mavericks gear. Even his father Sasa, who was watching his son’s game, got a lot of attention from Filipino fans who took selfies with him.
He is one the biggest stars to descend on Manila and it was no surprise that got the loudest cheers right from the warm-ups until he was thrown out with his second technical foul.
And Doncic was ready already to express his love to the Filipino fans even if he wasn’t asked about it.
“That I was going say that if nobody asked me,” Doncic said when asked about the Filipino fans’ support. “You know, I really appreciate the love. It’s been amazing, so many fans and they support me.”
Luka Doncic on the support of the Filipino fans at MOA Arena. #FIBAWC
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, September 6, 2023
The Slovenia-Canada game set the highest attendance record for the World Cup games at Mall of Asia Arena, where Team USA has played all of its games since the opening round.
The majority of those in attendance helped mock the referees, which had gotten the ire of Doncic for what he said were “not fair” calls.
But despite ejections, Doncic didn’t let his Filipino supporters down as he impressed them with his scoring prowess and flashy passes, finishing with 25 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
He has two more games in Manila–as the classification round for the final phase begins Thursday–and he’s hoping to give back to the supporters with a victory for Slovenia.
“Tomorrow we have another game, hopefully, we can give them the win and it’s been really, really amazing so I really appreciate the love,” Doncic said.
Slovenia takes on Lithuania on Thursday at MOA Arena in its penultimate game in Manila.