Stars of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup were among the protagonists on the sixth day of the FIBA World Cup in China.
In a do-or-die game between two 1-1 teams in Group E, the Czech Republic upset Turkey 76-91 to advance to the next phase. Vojtech Hruban led the winners with 18 points, Ondrej Balvin added 17 and 11 boards, while Jaromir Bohacik posted 15. For Turkey, Cedi Osman scored 24 points, Furkan Korkmaz added 16 and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul captain Melih Mahmutoglu helped with 14. Things started well for the winners, who led 16-22 after 10 minutes. Turkey reacted and jumped ahead 27-26 on Korkmaz's three-pointer and then managed to resist the Czech Republic's bursts to tie again at 45-45. Rebounding dominance, which would climb to 26-41 at game's end, helped the Czechs ease in front again after the break. In the last quarter, Osman's triple made it 66-69, but then a 0-8 run capped by a Hruban jumper put the Czechs ahead for good. With less than 2 minutes to go, Tomas Satoransky made it a 10-point game, 74-84, a difference that was maintained over the next few plays, allowing the Czech players to start celebrating. Later, the Unites States cruised to a 98-45 rout of Japan. The Americans won the group with a 3-0 record and Japan finished last at 0-3. Jaylen Brown was the top scorer for the winners with 20 points and Kemba Walker added 15. The United States took control from the start with a 13-0 run to start the game from which Japan never recovered. Yudai Baba led Japan with 18 points.
Greece held off a stern New Zealand challenge to record a 103-97 victory that secured it second place in Group F and a spot in the second round. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 24 points, 10 rebound and 6 assists to lead the winners and Ioannis Papapetrou and his Panathinaikos OPAP Athens teammate, All-EuroLeague guard Nick Calathes, added 16 and 14 points, respectively. Calathes also collected 5 assists and 3 steals. Corey Webster netted 31 points to lead the Kiwis and Tai Webster of Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul scored 17. Papapetrou and Fenerbahce star Kostas Sloukas each nailed a triple in a 10-2 run that put Greece ahead 28-19 after 10 minutes. New Zealand refused to go down and stayed within striking distance, trailing 51-44 at halftime and 71-66 through three quarters. However, Greece was too strong down the stretch and made its free throws in the final minutes to hold on for the win. Brazil finished the phase undefeated to win Group F thanks to an 84-73 decision over Montenegro, which fell to 0-3. EuroLeague classic Marcelinho Huertas led the winners with 16 points and 6 assists. Cristiano Felicio added 14 and Marquinhos Sousa posted 13 for Brazil. For Montenegro, Derek Needham led the way with 16 points. Brazil gained control late in the second quarter and made it 43-38 at the break. Good defense allowed the winners to pull away a bit more in the third quarter, but Montenegro never surrendered and Needham's three with less than 4 minutes to go made it a one-point game, 73-72. It was all Brazil from then on, however, as the winners closed the game with an 11-1 finish.
France blasted the Dominican Republic 56-90 in the game for the top spot in Group G. France heads into the second round with a perfect record, while the Dominicans advanced from second place at 2-1. Former EuroLeague MVP Nando De Colo of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul led the way with 15 points, Rudy Gobert posted 13 points and 8 rebounds, Mathias Lessort of FC Bayern Munich netted 11 points and Evan Fournier had 10. Victor Liz was the Dominican Republic’s top scorer with 12 points. France led from start to finish, scoring the game’s first 10 points and never looking back. The consolation game in Group G between two winless teams saw Germany get its first and only win in the tournament thanks to a 96-62 blowout against Jordan on Thursday. This leaves Germany with a 1-2 group record and Jordan at 0-3. Maxi Kleber led the winners with 18 points. He was followed by Bayern's duo of Danilo Barthel, with 13, and Paul Zipser, with 11. For Jordan, Ahmad Al Dwairi (Ahmet Duverioglu of Fenerbahce) led the effort with 17 points. Despite Jordan being ahead at some point, Germany took a 28-17 after 10 minutes. In the following two quarters, Jordan put up a fight, but its strength seemed to dissolve in the last quarter as Germany rolled again for good with a 30-13 run, winning the battle under the glass with 30 defensive rebounds. Germany also excelled from beyond the arc, making 16 of 31 threes, or 52%.
Australia held off Lithuania 82-87 in an entertaining game to finish atop Group H at 3-0. Lithuania also advanced to the second round with a 2-1 record. Patty Mills and Aron Baynes combined for 44 points to lead five Australian scorers in double figures. Baynes also collected 13 rebounds as the Boomers outrebounded Lithuania 32-40. Zalgiris Kaunas big man added 10 points off the bench. His Zalgiris teammates Marius Grigonis and Lukas Lekavicius were Lithuania’s top scorers with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Lithuania rode Grigonis and Lekavicius on a 16-1 run that bridged the third and fourth quarter to forge a 71-68 edge. There would be three more lead changes after that and Jonas Valanciunas tied it at 76-76 with less than 2 minutes to play. Mills made a couple of clutch shots and Mitch Creek sank key free throws to help Australia put the game away. In the consolation game for the group between two winless teams, Canada managed to pull out its first triumph, 82-60 against Senegal on Thursday. Cory Joseph led the winners with 24 points while Kevin Pangos of FC Barcelona added 13 and Melvin Ejim of Unicaja Malaga posted 11 plus 8 rebounds. For Senegal, Mouhammad Faye of Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade led the losing effort with 14 points. This result left Canada at 1-2 in the group, while Senegal fell to 0-3. In the first quarter, Senegal rolled to an 11-22 edge, but Canada regrouped and took the following three quarters by storm. It was already winning by 1 at the break, 33-32, and just took off from there and never looked back, mainly thanks to an impressive performance under the boards, with 47 rebounds.