On the penultimate day of competitions of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, four European teams will battle it out to determine the final ranking from fifth to eighth in the quadrennial meet.
Fans in the Philippines have shown a lot of love for Slovenia, and they can get a last look at Luka Doncic and Co. as they take on Italy for the seventh spot. Tip-off is at 4:45 pm at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Doncic has only played two games in Manila, both losses, so he should be eager to at least pick up a win before wrapping up Slovenia’s campaign. Against Lithuania in their last outing, Doncic finished with 29 points, but struggled from the field, making only 7-of-21 attempts.
Italy put up a great fight against Latvia in their last game, but still came up short. In the absence of Simone Fontecchio, four Italians scored in double-digits led by Gigi Datome’s 20 points.
This game will be bittersweet for Datome, as he will be playing his last game for Italy after serving the national team for two decades. It all started back in 2003 at the FIBA U16 European Championship, but now, it ends in Manila and he’s hoping his last ride will end with a win.
After Italy-Slovenia, two neighbors will go at it for the fifth spot.
Latvia and Lithuania share a 588 km border. Another thing they share is love for basketball.
For the Latvians, winning this classification game would be the cherry on top of the sundae that has been their impressive World Cup campaign. This is a team that needed to compete in the pre-qualifiers in Europe. They defied the odds to make it to their first-ever World Cup and then lost team captain Dairis Bertans to a hamstring injury.
They scored amazing wins against France and Spain and were a few inches away from making it to the semi-finals as Davis Bertans narrowly missed on a game-winning three against Germany in the quarterfinals.
For Lithuania, it’s already an upgrade from their ninth place finish in the 2019 World Cup, but they want an even stronger exit. After falling flat against Serbia, they took out their frustrations on Slovenia, led by another double- double from Jonas Valanciunas. Rokas Jokubaitis and Vaidas Kariniauskas also combined for 18 assists to set the table for their teammates and they will be looking to do that again versus Latvia.
Catch a glimpse of these four high-caliber teams for as low as PHP 249. Tickets are still available at smtickets.com or at the SM Mall of Asia Arena ticketing booth.