FIBAWC Day #5, our daily recap with a special watch on Euroleague players. All the verdicts for groups A, D, E and H.
Day #5 in the #FIBAWC was so important with all the verdicts for groups A, D, E and H.
GERMANY v FINLAND 101-75 (gr. E)
The germans started a bit slow then took control of the game in the second, moving to 47-39 at halftime. Sure Finland is not playing the exciting ball we loved last year during Eurobasket and Lauri Markkanen too was not that impressive.
The second part of the game was a simple monologue by the teutonic team till the 101-75 final score. Last time the game was tied was with 7’21” to play in the second (27-27), then the run was 74-48 in less than 28′.
All EL players, Maodo Lo, Johannes Voigtmann, Niels Giffey, Andy Obst, Isaac Bonga, Justus Hollatz and Johannes Thiemann brought something positive to the team with a special mention for the last one, who closed with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 22’58”.
Franz Wagner did not pay for the second consecutive game after the ankle injury in the debut.
With this W Germany ,over to the second stage with a 3/0 record: they will most probably find Slovenia with the same number of wins while Australia and Georgia will be qualified with 2 wins and 1 loss. Defeating at least Georgia will guarantee a pass for the quarterfinals.
ANGOLA v DOMINICAN REP. 67-75 (gr. A)
Led by another very good game of Andres Feliz (17 and 6 rebounds), Dominican Republic stuns the WC winning group A with 3 wins and 0 losses. Future actually bright for Nestor Garcia’s team that could make it to the quarterfinals with just another win in the second phase, where they will meet Serbia and one team between South Sudan or Portorico, more probably than China.
KAT scored just 8 points and was not a factor this time due to fouls trouble.
It was not an easy win since Angola fought till the end and with 2’52” to play the score was tied at 65. A layup from Liz, another one from Feliz and 2 FT by Towns sealed the game with less than a minute on the clock.
If we talk about surprises and great jobs, this one from Nestor Gracia can be surely considered as a masterclass in a group where Italy was far more credited.
EGYPT – MEXICO 100-72 (gr. D)
Easy afternoon walk for Egypt that left Mexico alone in the last spot of the group.
After 20 minutes the game was abundantly over with the score fixed at 59-35.
22 by Amin and 20 by Gardner on the winning side, 21 by Cruz and Ibarra on the losing one.
LEBANON v FRANCE 79-85 (gr. H)
What could be another shameful night for France finally turned into a win that can’t anyway satisfy a team with far different expectations than playing for the 17-32 spots tournament.
France effort was another time unacceptable. Lebanon was up by 10 halfway through the second (35-25) and still in the game with 6’49” to play and the score tied at 65.
Tough timeouts by Collet, exchanging not so kind words with Okobo, and frankly speaking a body language that was as negative as it was during the humiliation versus Canada and the bad loss versus Latvia.
Very difficult to find something positive in the 9 member EL players group during the whole tournament: maybe something by Tarpey in the previous game and Yabusele scoring 18 today. All the rest is definitely forgettable.
Special night for Wael Arakji: the 28 years old guard from Al Riyadi scored 29 points with 11/17 from the field.
AUSTRALIA v JAPAN 109-89 (gr. E)
The Aussies grabbed a win that was as easy as importnat to make it to the second stage with a 2/1 record.
26 by the usually positive Giddey, 24 by Cooks while Patty Mills couldn’t shoot well, only 1/6 from the arc.
The game was over at the beginning of the second quarter when Australia established a double digit lead and finished the business, reaching then a 27 points advantage.
Another great effort by Joshua Hawkinson: 33+7 in a tournament where the Shinsu Brave Warriors player is averaging 23,3+12.
PHILIPINES v ITALY 83-90 (gr. A)
The start was obviously nervous for Italy, down by 3 after 10′, then shots started to drop, a good tempo was found and the win came as easy as it was supposed to come, even if the risks in the final moments showed how this is not the best version of the “azzurri”.
17/41 from the arc changed the story for Italy, far different from the first two games (12/60 combined).
Fontecchio, even if inaccurate in shooting as in the first two episodes, exploded in the second quarter, while the MVP was definitely Alessandro Pajola, marvellous as always on the D side and 3/4 from the arc. His D on Clarkson was great all game long and especially on a possession that could have re-opened the game in the last minute.
Good game by Spissu (13+9 and 4 boards) while Melli was the usual pivot on both ends of the floor (10+6+7). Ricci and Tonut brought good contribution, Polonara was a bit out of the game but guaranteed 6 boards.
Jordan Clarkson, the only weapon for the “Gilas”, couldn’t make it alone and was very tired after the “Pajola treatment”.
Italy grabbed the second stage participation but will need at least both wins against Serbia and one other opponent between South Sudan, Puertorico or China to make it to the quarterfinals.
MONTENEGRO v LITHUANIA 71-91 (gr. D)
Lithuania finished undefeated after this great win.
Huge game by Rokas Jokubaitis (19 pts, 5 reb, 6 ass) and solid contribution by Sedekerskis (8+11) and Brazdeikis (10+4), while Dimsa was 0/5 from the arc. 8 points by Motiejunas in over 17′ on the court.
Veteran Kuzminskas scored 15 points on 5/6 shooting.
Montenegro couldn’t match Lithuania power, especially in rebounding, where the battle was really tough for the balkan team (30-44).
A 22-13 second quarter was enough to close the game for Coach Maksvytis team: then they kept on making the difference higher and higher with the biggest lead set at 22 before the final 20 points margin.
USA and the winner of the clash Greece v New Zealand will be the opponents of both teams (Montenegro qualified as second with a 2/1 record) in the second phase of the tournament.
CANADA v LATVIA 101-75 (gr. H)
Showdown between two of the best team so far in the competition and at the end is Canada sharply prevailing after a comeback completed at halftime.
Latvia, after losing Dairis Bertans for the rest of the WC, started great and had a 10 point lead at the end of the first quarter. Canada managed to be back on top (43-42) going into the locker room. Then the last balanced moment was with 3’21” to play in the 3rd with the score set at 55-54. 46-21 the following run by the north americans that are scoring an average of 108 points per game in their unbeaten path so far.
SGA shined again with 27 points while RJ Barrett kept on improving, this time with 22 points.
More than the single players what is really impressive from this team is the talent, the athleticism, the physicality and the solid way to find the basket whenever they want. Canada looks like an NBA team perfectly adapted to this competition and if you win by 30 with France and by 26 with Latvia, how can’t we take this team as true powerhouse and title contender?
As about Latvia we can’t but congrat the Luca Banchi squad for what they did till now. Losing Porzingis before the start of the competition, then now Dairis Bertans, should have shocked most of the teams but not the latvians who played at least 20′ great minutes of basketball even today.
Roland Smits, the only EL player on the court, couldn’t be as efficient as in the two previous games but that was something predictable given the canadian frontline.
Both teams made it to the second stage and now will face Spain and most probably Brazil on the way to the quarterfinals.