Canada secured a place in the FIBA World Cup semifinals on September 6 with a 100-89 victory over Slovenia. It marks the first-ever semifinal appearance for Canada, whose previous benchmark was sixth-place finishes in 1978 and 1982. It once again showed the might of Canada's current golden generation. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up 31 points while RJ Barrett added another 24. Slovenia had been attempting to reach its first semifinal since becoming an independent nation in 1991. However, they simply didn't have the firepower to match the Canadian output. Luka Dončić had 26 points for Slovenia.
However, Dončić was ejected partway through the second half. The Mavericks star had been chirping at the refs all night over various calls and non-calls. With 6:37 remaining, the officiating team had had enough and issued Dončić his second technical of the game. The Slovenian star returned to the court in flip-flops after the final buzzer to congratulate the Canadian players.
Dillon Brooks Also Ejected
However, Dončić wasn't the only NBA star who left the game earlier. Dillon Brooks, the newly acquired Houston Rocket, left the game shortly before Dončić did. Like Luka Dončić, Brooks was booted after picking up his second technical of the game. It's unknown at this time whether Brooks will be available for selection against Serbia later this week.
The result was a crushing blow to Slovenia, who went into the half tied at 50. However, Canada opened the third period with a 19-5 run and never looked back. They will now face Serbia for a place in the final. If they can overcome another Eastern European powerhouse, they will face either the US or Germany in the final. All four semifinalists have booked their place at the Olympic tournament next summer in Paris. While Canada won a basketball silver medal at the 1936 Games in Berlin, the 2024 Olympics will mark just their third appearance at the Games since 1984. Do you think Canada can go all the way? Let us know in the comments Follow all the latest sports news here at HotNewHipHop.