CEBU

Mendoza: Delightful Doncic my new idol

All Write

I COULDN’T stop pinching myself. Is this real?

The Dallas Mavericks were simply amazing in performing this SST (Sunday Showtime Theater) while beating the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP (Most Valuable Player) Giannis Antetokoumpo on Sunday in the NBA bubble.

Simply, that game was one of the NBA restart’s outstanding thrillers.

The Mavs were down seven points in regulation with time not really on their side. But what the Mavs made in those dying seconds was simply splendid: Score the game’s last seven points of regulation to force overtime.

And, after stealing a 136-132 overtime victory, the Mavs kept alive their slim hopes to escape the seventh playoff spot that could pit them in a first-round match with the highly seeded Los Angeles Clippers bannered by the irrepressible Kawhi Leonard.

With the win, several stingers sprung up. Like Dallas has become, suddenly, the oddly beloved overtime team in the Florida bubble at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando.

The NBA’s new venue, Walt Disney World, was chosen to insulate the league from the novel coronavirus pandemic now wreaking havoc on America and the entire world as well.

When will the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) have such a place like that to restart its season that was halted on March 11? Nobody knows till now.

Luka Doncic, the monster machine of a point-guard from Slovenia, keyed the classic victory as Dallas dug its second victory from its third overtime odyssey in a five-game skein.

Is Doncic for real?

He scored 36 points, but that’s not the point. Only about 6-foot-6, Doncic had a career-high 14 rebounds and 19 assists, in the process establishing his NBA-leading 17th triple double. Suddenly, Russell Westbrook is a midget.

Doncic’s super-show came after the 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year was named a finalist for the most improved award.

“He’s getting better by the hour, by the day,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Doncic. “I was most impressed with his leadership throughout the game. Kept a real calm demeanor, kept guys playing during some tough stretches.”

I just found a new idol.


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