FIBAWC Day #6, our daily recap with a special watch on Euroleague players. Greece advances, 4 more teams close the first round undefeated.
Day #5 in the #FIBAWC was about Canada, Dominican Republic, Germany and Lithuania undefeated: today 4 more teams reached that important goal.
SERBIA – SOUTH SUDAN 115-83 (gr. B)
Serbia grabbed an easy win to secure first spot in the group with an unbeaten record.
After struggling a bit in the first two games, Bogdan Bogdanovic finally showed why he is one of the top player of the competition scoring 23 points and dishing 9 balls.
25 by Nikola Jovic and the usual solid performance by Nikola Milutinov (17+10). Dobric finally find the way to score at least two baskets from the arc (2/6) while Guduric, Marinkovic and Davidovac played a positive game. Avramovic was rested.
Next stop for Serbia the showdown friday v Italy, which name does not mean good recent memories.
Carlik Jones this time was silenced and South Sudan could,’t compete from the beginning (20-30 first quarter and 39-56 at halftime). The africans will play for the 17-32 spots starting from a 1/2 record, something anyway historical for a team that made his debut in the competition.
VENEZUELA v GEORGIA 59-70 (gr. F)
Led by a great game from captain Toko Shengelia Georgia secured the win in the first part of the game with the score settled at 42-23 after 20 minutes. Good D on the perimeter allowing Venezuela shooters a poor 6/25 from the arc.
Shengelia scored 25 points on 9/17 shooting, adding 3 rebounds and 3 assist in 29′ minutes.
Venezuela had 16 points from Colmenares but couldn’t do anything against a better team.
With this win the georgian finished 2nd in group F with a 2W/1L record and will find Germany and Australia in the second stage. They will face the teutonic team on friday in a decisive game for the quarterfinal race.
USA – JORDAN 110-62 (gr. C)
62-33 at halftime, 110-62 at the final buzzer.
It was impossible to expect something different and that’s what regularly happened.
This is one of the game about which some thoughts should follow for FIBA. Basketball without borders is a great achievement, but in this kind of competitions are we sure these games are drawing a real interest?
22 points by Anthony Edwards and 9 players with more than 7 points for the States.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, facing many NBA familiar faces, ended with 20 points and 7 boards, in a tournament where he is averaging 27,6 points and 8,3 boards.
USA will play Montenegro in the first game of the send stage on friday: a W would mean advancing to the quarterfinals most probably as top seeded of the group, waiting for the second qualified from Serbia/Italy/Dominican Rep. group.
IVORY COAST v BRAZIL 77-89 (gr. G)
Brazil sealed the second place in group G with a win that was a bit more difficult than expected.
It was necessary an outstanding game by Yago dos Santos to let the Brazilian advance to the second stage: 24 points, 6/7 in triples, 12 assist and 4 boards for a great 37 in efficiency for the Crvena Zvezda newcomer in Euroleague.
12+8 for Caboclo: the more we see this guy the more we try to figure out how is possible that no EL GM did not sign him. Anyway a big addition for Reyer Venezia.
5 players in double digits were not enough for Ivory Coast that will play the 17-32 spots tournament entering with a 1W/2L record.
Brazil will play friday v Canada in the first meeting of the second phase: two wins will be most probably needed to fulfill the quarterfinal dream.
CAPO VERDE v SLOVENIA 77-92 (gr. F)
The debutant africans didn’t have any intention to give up and fought in the first 20′ minutes: 45-38 Slovenia at halftime. Even Luka Doncic was a bit less effective in terms of points, scoring “only” 10 with just 1 FG (1/9) , to which anyway he added 6 assist and 5 rebounds.
At the end, in a night not so special, “Luka magic” marked 19 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals, something impossible for most of the players of this competition.
24-17 in the third period was enough for Slovenia to set up the trip to the next stage. Points off turnovers (21/6) and second chance ones (17/8) were primary to fix the final score.
For the third consecutiva time Walter Tavares was inaccurate in shooting, with only 4/13 from the field. But this time too he was in double digits in rebounds with 10 balls conquered to which he added 5 assists.
Betinho Gomes played another great game: 39 years next february, he scored 17 points with 6/11 from the field, ending the first stage at 14,6 ppg.
Capo Verde will play Finland tomorrow and then Japan in the 17-32 tournament, while Slovenia, after the 3/0 record, will play Australia in a key game on friday.
PUERTORICO v CHINA 107-89 (gr. B)
Fundamental and easy win for Puertorico to advance to the second stage where they will play Dominican Republic on friday.
52-37 at halftime was enough for the central American to fix the score, then it was all about confirming the lead till the final buzzer, when 6 players were in double digits.
China ends with a 0/3 record and looked a bit far from this competition level.
GREECE v NEW ZEALAND 83-74 (gr. C)
“Do or die” game for both that crowned Greece as the second qualified of the group to the next stage with a 2/1 record.
Itoudis’ squad faced a kind of drama when down by 15 (28-43) with 1’27” left in the first half. Then they went up for the fist time, after an early lead, 57-54 with 8’19” in the 3rd and never looked back even if the “tall blacks” never gave up and came back within 6 with 92 seconds to play.
The key was Greece D in the second half, allowing only 31 points and finding a way to score 51 after struggling on offence since the beginning.
Bench scoring was a factor as well (50-5) even if in modern basketball many players from the bench are definitely hidden starters. Anyway New Zealand staff really rotated only 7 players, with 3 DNPCD and two guys on the court for only 5 and 7 minutes.
The battle of the boards was won by NZ 42-34 but Greece led in second chance points 14-8 even though.
Papapetrou finally exploded as the champ we were used to knowing scoring 27 points, while the contribution from Larentskais was as usually great with 20 points and many important stops.
Moraitis, Lountzis, Papagiannis, Walkup and Papanikolaou didn’t emerge with key numbers but were important presences in the big D of the second half.
New Zealand played great for 20 minutes then was overwhelmed by the greek D, hurrying too many plays, especially with Delany who turned the ball over a couple of times in crucial situations.
Shea Ili scored 27 dishing 8 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds: after 3 games he is averaging 18 points, 7,7 assists and e rebounds.
Ellenic team will play friday v Lithuania in a game that will be definitely decisive towards the quarterfinal picture.
SPAIN v IRAN 85-65 (gr. G)
Quiet afternoon for Spain who started slow but managed to get the win needed to close with a 3/0 record and look with great confidence to the next stage.
Hernangomez family led the way for the spaniards, scoring 21 (Juancho) and 16 (Willy) with a combined 16/25 from the field.
A day of rest for Rudy, while all Sergi, Abrines, Claver, Brizuela and Parra were involved in the very balanced rotation only 48 hours away from the clutch moments of the tournament.
The debut of the team coached by Scariolo in the second phase will happen friday versus Latvia. Another great game, potentially the best one so far, will be played on sunday between #LaFamilia and Canada.
Iran terminates the first phase with 3 losses averaging more than 20 points difference in those 3 games.