Luka Doncic: 'I let my country down, that's on me'

Donatas Urbonas
Senior Staff Writer
2022-09-14 21:00

Luka Doncic didn't run away from the responsibility after a disappointing ending for Slovenia in the EuroBasket 2022.

Credit: FIBA

Luka Doncic was in pain. Both on and off the floor. His second EuroBasket ended in a failure, with the amazing Poland team creating another huge upset, eliminating Slovenia in the quarterfinals, 90-87.

"First of all, congrats to Poland. They played amazing games from the first minute to the end. That's a big achievement for them. For us, we didn't go to the game as we wanted. The energy wasn't there. We came back, but Poland kept fighting. Congrats to Poland," Doncic said in the press conference.

Doncic got hurt early into the game and was the last to show up for the warmup before the second half.

Player of the Game
Mateusz  Ponitka
Mateusz Ponitka
Points 26
Accuracy 8-17
Rebounds 16
Assists 10

He was limping and playing through pain.

"I don't know. Probably not 100 percent," Doncic described his condition during the game. "I received an injection in the third quarter. I was dealing with a lot this EuroBasket. But that's not the reason. Today I played terribly. I let my team down. I let my whole country down. That's on me."

In his final EuroBasket 2022 game, Doncic scored 14 points on 5 of 15 shooting, had 11 rebounds, seven assists, and six turnovers.

He got fouled out with 3 minutes to play.

Although he mentioned his team's energy wasn't there, he doesn't think Slovenians underrated their opponents and thought they were on a high road to winning the EuroBasket when Greece and Serbia were eliminated.

"No, I don't think so. Let's give credit to Poland. Most of us had us as favorites. But Poland has a great team. Like I talked about Belgium. This EuroBasket was amazing to see. The games were unbelievable. Sad we couldn't get through. I think this EuroBasket was something else. There were a lot of amazing great teams," Doncic added.

When asked about the officiating, Doncic changed the topic.

"I don't know. I would always represent my country. If I'm healthy, I will always play for Slovenia," he said.

Asked if the Polish national team captain Mateusz Ponitka, who scored only a fourth triple-double in EuroBasket history, could play in the NBA, Doncic answered with a smile.

"Amazing game. I'm not surprised. He is a great leader. Probably he is the NBA type of player. But I don't know, I'm not the GM," he said.

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