FIBAWC23 Day 1 – Our daily recap with a special watch on Euroleague players. Impressive performance by Canada led by SGA.
ANGOLA v ITALIA 67-81 (gr.A)
#Italbasket feeling a bit of pressure at the beginning then trying to play the usual ball even missing different open shots. After a triple by Severini the first quarter ends 23-17 for the “azzurri”. 0/5 form the arc by the african team, 3/12 for the old continent’s one.
Italy more than 3′ without scoring and Angola is up by 1 (24-23) then it’s aback and forth until halftime, with Italy up by 3 (43-40). The game is still open basically due to the 3/20 from the arc by italians.
Third quarter really similar to the previous one: only Tonut and Fontecchio are creating for Italy, while Childe Dundao, only scorer from the arc for Angola (3/23 total), looks like not being an easy match for Coach Pozzecco’s team that keeps on shooting so bad from long distance (4/25).
The last quarter shows how this game is not exactly an example of perfect flow, something definitely possible in the first episode of a tournament like this.
A free throw by Nik Melli sinks the first double digits lead for Italy with a bit more than 3′ to play and it’s game over.
Not a good game for Italy while Angola did all what was possible: the best team won without playing the usual quality ball. It could be an important lesson for the upcoming games.
Key number was 3 point shooting: Dundao 4/8 and the rest of the team 0/22. Italy’s terrible too with 5/31 and that’s the reason why the game remained open until mid of the last quarter.
19 by Fontecchio led the way for Italy, while watching EL players it was a very good performance by Tonut (18) and Ricci: “Pippo” not shining in numbers but very efficient with some important plays.
FINLAND v AUSTRALIA 72-98 (gr.E)
In Okinawa Finland starts doing classical “Finland things” as we loved in the last Eurobasket. 36-28 for the Scandinavian after 15′ with a Sasu Salin 4 points play. The “Aussies” start to play a good D, especially on Markkanen: Ingles and Giddey pack the comeback to a 45-40 halftime.
25-14 in the 3rd and the game looks over. Australia is the best team on the court and once they started to play a solid D stopping the Finnish flow we could see all the difference: 70-54 after 30′.
There’s no more game in the 10′ left and the score is even too tough for Finland: 98-72 with a 53-32 second half.
Usual leadership from any point of view for Patty Mills: 25+8 on 11/22 form the field.
No EL players in this game but how much a guy like Sasu Salin would deserve that opportunity? Good question for so many EL GM.
MEXICO v MONTENEGRO 71-91 (gr.D)
A solid second half (43-32) guaranteed the W to Montenegro: the balkan team had a great 45,2% 3 point shooting on 31 attempts.
The game was tied at 19 after a pretty accurate first quarter scoring.
Montenegro up by 9 at halftime thanks to a superb 7/13 from downtown. Mexico keeps on shooting well but globally shows something significant less than the opponents (55-41 team efficiency for MNG).
Second half it’s all about Nikola Vucevic team: the Bulls’ center finished the mexicans with 27 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 8/12 in 2s and 3/3 in 3s.
Marko Simonovic, the only EL player on the court after signing with Red Star this summer, didn’t shine with 5 points and 5 boards in only 13’04” on the hardwood.
LATVIA v LEBANON 109-70 (gr.H)
Easy and predictable afternoon walk for Latvia against an inconsistent opponent that couldn’t match anything on the court.
55-30 at halftime with the baltics shooting 11/21 from the arc (4/6 Dairis Bertans). 74-26 the team efficiency so that the game was definitely over after 20 mins.
Talking about EL protagonists, usual solid effort by Zalgiris PF Roland Smith, who scored 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 17’38” minutes.
Omari Spellman lead Lebanon with 18 points.
DOMINICAN REP. v PHILIPINES 87-81 (gr.A)
With an 18-9 run in the last 6 minutes Dominican Republic came back from a 3 point deficit and secured an important win in what was considered a crucial game to advance to the second stage.
26+10 for KAT and 28+7+7 for Jordan Clarkson in the NBA clash.
Impressive plays form Jean Montero (6+5+5) in the clutch, as well as many positive things by Victor Liz.
Both teams without EL athletes.
GERMANY v JAPAN 81-63 (gr.E)
It took a few minutes to Germany to prevail over Hachimura-less Japan.
18-8 with 3’19” to play in the 1st qtr and the germans didn’t look back.
Lead by Moritz Wagner (25+9), the teutonic team did not have any notable performance by the EL guys (Lo, Voigtmann, Bonga, Giffey, Thiemann, Hollatz, Obst). Japan don’t have any player from the best competition in Europe.
Some concern about Franz Wagner injury, a sprained ankle with just 5 minutes left to play. An MRI will tell the real situation for his future availability.
EGYPT v LITHUANIA 67-93 (gr.D)
A “no game” was expected , a no game is what happened.
Led by Valanciunas double-double (15+10), Lithuania won easily thanks to a progressive run that extended the score to a final 26 point difference.
Nothing particularly notable for the EL players in Maksvytis squad (Brazdeikis, Jokubaitis, Dimsa, Motiejunas adn Sedekerskis). Frankly speaking it was a demanding-less test against the egyptian, while next game v Mexico will say something more about the real baltic value.
No EL players in Egypt roster.
CANADA v FRANCE 95-65 (gr.H)
Canada destroys France with a 81-47 run starting from the second quarter.
Outstanding performance by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 27 with 13 rebs and 6 assists. Vincent Collet forgets Terry Tarpey too long on the bench while he could be a possible solution to stop the Thunder guard.
French offense is only Evan Fournier and after the first half, once the Knicks guards is stopped by the opponents , it’s game over for “les bleus”, without any idea on and off the court. 14 assists and 17 turnovers it’s a number that shows everything.
45-35 the rebound battle for the north american that prevailed in any aspect of the game.
9 EL players for France (0 for Canada), none of them particularly inspired except Sylvain Francisco that did good things but it happened when the game was iced. 12+6 by Lessort but in a very confusing game, especially when playing with Gobert, making the court as small as possible in modern basketball.
No EL players for Canada.