MALAGA, Spain — All-NBA guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is off Slovenia’s active roster for Saturday’s exhibition game against the U.S. for what his team called precautionary reasons.
It was the second game in a back-to-back for Slovenia, which lost 99-79 to Spain in an exhibition on Friday. Doncic had 17 points in that game, and had two triple-doubles in his first three appearances with the national team this summer while tuning up for the World Cup that begins later this month.
Doncic was sidelined early in Friday’s game, though returned in the second half after the brief injury scare. In a statement, Slovenia said it does “not want to leave anything to chance” before traveling to Japan to continue World Cup preparations.
Slovenia — ranked No. 7 in the world by FIBA, the sport’s global governing body — is seeking its first World Cup medal. With Doncic leading the way, Slovenia finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago; he averaged 23.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game in that tournament, ranking first or second in all three of those categories.
Slovenia plays its final tuneup against Japan on Aug. 19. Doncic’s team opens World Cup play in Okinawa, Japan, on Aug. 26 against Venezuela, followed by games Aug. 28 against Georgia and Aug. 30 against Cape Verde.
Doncic averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8 assists per game last season for the Mavericks. He’s one of two All-NBA players from last season scheduled to play in the World Cup; Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Oklahoma City is the other.