US, Greece sail to opening wins at FIBA World Cup

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 2, 2019
Adjust font size:
Georgios Papagiannis (Top) of Greece competes during the group F match between Greece and Montenegro at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, Sept. 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)

Defending champions United States and Greece featuring NBA's Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo harvested comfortable wins to start their respective 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign on Sunday.

Despite being deprived of a series of superstars in the squad, the U.S. made early statement for title defence as they moved past the Czech Republic 88-67 in Group E.

As a rare NBA All-Star in the current team, point guard Kemba Walker heated into the match with a driving layup and an assist to Boston Celtics teammate Jayson Tatum's three-pointer. Walker quickly added a jumper for a 7-2 lead in the opening stage. Led by Tomas Satoransky, the Czechs bounced back with a 9-0 spurt to turn the tides for 11-7.

USA head coach Gregg Popovich attempted to involve as many players as possible with constant rotation, which paid off later on as the reigning champions rallied back to lead 17-14 after the first quarter.

Then the U.S. team rediscovered their rhythm through fast breaks to gradually extend the margin to double digits, and led by 20 points following Harrison Barnes' three-point play with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter. The Czechs could not pose concrete threat to their opponents' superior position afterwards.

Donovan Mitchell lad American players' scoring with 16. Barnes and Walker added 14 and 13 points respectively. Satoransky had a game-high 17 points.

Also in the group, Turkey cruised past Japan 86-67 thanks to double-digit points from four players.

Turkey kept the game physical from the start and soon built up an 11-3 advantage en route to 28-12 as the first quarter expired.

The deficit was cut slightly to 12 points before the interval, but Turkey answered with a dominant third quarter. With a driving layup made by NBA star Cedi Osman, Turkey enlarged the advantage to 21 points with two minutes left in the third.

In Greece's 85-60 victory over Montenegro in Group F, Antetokounmpo registered a decent performance of 10 points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes, and lit up the packed stadium with his eye-catching slam dunks.

Antetokounmpo was an unstoppable force for Greece through his overwhelming talent. Greece ended the first half with a 42-16 lead, leaving little suspense for marching on.

Antetokounmpo's teammate Georgios Printez contributed a match-leading 16 points. Nikola Vucevic of Montenegro, playing in NBA's Orlando Magic, racked up 12 points.

In the same group, former NBA champion Leandrinho Barbosa led Brazil to a 102-94 victory over New Zealand with a match-leading 22 points. The Chicago Bulls center Cristiano Felicio protected Brazil's rim with 14 rebounds.

In a highly-anticipated Group G duel between two European powerhouses, France edged Germany 78-74.

France's Evan Fournier earned a game-high 26 points and contributed 10 rebounds. Amath M'Baye added 21 points. Germany's Johannes Voigtmann made 25 points including five 3-pointers.

Fournier hit a pair of free throws, leading France 78-74 with 4.2 seconds remaining. Maximilian Kleber's last jump shot can not make any miracle.

Jordan Al-Dasuqi missed a game-tying 3-pointer as the Dominican Republic labored to an 80-76 win over Jordan, making Jordanian player Ahmad Al Dwairi's 34 points in vain.

A crazy fourth quarter with a 32-15 scoreline guided Australia to 108-92 over Canada in Group H.

Six players from Australia harvested scores in double digits. Matthew Dellavedova, playing for NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, led their scoring sheet with 24.

In the group's another match-up, seven players scored double digits in Lithuania's 101-47 demolition of Senegal. 

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from