Credit: KZS/
Credit KZS/

Although Goran Dragic made a comeback to the national team after almost a five-year gap, all eyes were on Luka Doncic.

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Luka  Doncic
MIN: 35.66
PTS: 29.03 (53.34%)
REB: 9.24
As: 8.3
ST: 1.28
BL: 0.56
TO: 4.38
GM: 80

The Dallas Mavericks superstar attracted fans to the Trieste Allianz Dome long before the friendly game between Italy and Slovenia started. 90 minutes before the match, a long line of fans could be seen outside the venue, all of them waiting to see their idol.

More than an hour before the game, hundreds of people watched Luka and other Slovenians shooting warm-up shots. Numerous fans admitted that their primary reason for coming is not to watch the Slovenian or the Italian national teams, it's Luka Doncic.

"When I heard he was going to play, I immediately bought a ticket. Fortunately, they were still available," one Slovenian fan told SportKlub Slovenija. One local basketball fan even openly admitted the fact. "I am from Trieste. My father and friends too. We are not here because of the Italian national team. No, not today. We are here because of Doncic," he said.

In a game that was also attended by AX Armani Exchange Milan head coach Ettore Messina, Doncic scored 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists to lead the team to a comfortable victory,

Not only the Slovenian fans wore Doncic jerseys in the arena last night. Even though only a small portion of the venue was dedicated to dedicated Slovenian national team fans, hundreds of people could be seen wearing either Mavericks or Slovenian Doncic jerseys.

The first match of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers window against Croatia on June 30th in Ljubljana has been a hot commodity in the Slovenian basketball community ever since it was announced that both Dragic and Donic were coming to play.

Even though the Slovenian Basketball Federation raised the prices ahead of the battle, the tickets to the match were sold out in just two hours. Those who were not successful in attaining the tickets chose to go to Trieste to see the Slovenian basketball idol.

500 seats were allocated to Croatian fans for the World Cup Qualifiers match. Then, more than 12,000 locals will cheer for their two beloved superstars. After hosting Croatia, the team will then travel to Sweden to close out the Qualifiers window on July 3rd.

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