The South Sudan Basketball Federation condemns the “racism and harassment” received by Nuni Omot following the kidney removal of Serbian national cager Borisa Simanic due to their play last week at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
In an X statement released by the federation, South Sudan acknowledged the unfortunate incident to Simanic while noting that the chippy sequence was “unintentional and unfortunate.”
The occurrence happened with less than two minutes left between the Serbia-South Sudan Group Phase bout in the Smart Araneta Coliseum when Simanic received an accidental elbow in his abdomen from Omot, who eventually sank a reverse layup following a rebound battle. The big man was mincing in pain and was reportedly brought to the nearest hospital in Manila after the matchup wherein Serbia emerged in a wire-to-wire 115-83 victory.
It was then announced that the 25-year-old Simanic underwent a necessary surgery to remove his kidney which ultimately sidelines him for the remainder of Serbia’s World Cup duties.
Meanwhile, Omot wrote a personal statement expressing his sadness at what happened to Simanic.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Simanic’s injuries. As a sportsman, I firsthand understand the severity of his situation and I am deeply sorry that this happened. No player should have to go through that. I pray for Simanic’s recovery and speedy return to the court.”
With a 3-2 card, South Sudan is already eliminated in World Cup contention. Meanwhile, Serbia is now in the Final Round and is about to battle Lithuania in the quarterfinals on Wednesday in Pasay City’s Mall of Asia Arena.