World Cup recap: France, Australia, USA reach quarters

Sep 07, 2019 by EuroLeague.net/photos: FIBA Print
World Cup recap: France, Australia, USA reach quarters

GROUP K

This group's first game provided the upset of the second round so far, as the Czech Republic walloped previously unbeaten Brazil 71-93 in Shenzhen. The victory lifted the Czechs into a 3-1 tie with Brazil, counting their records from the first phase. The score difference could prove crucial, however, should there be a three-way tie between them and Greece when Group K play ends on Monday. Brazil never led in the game but a 30-55 advantage over the middle two quarters by the Czechs proved the difference. Tomas Satoransky paced the winners with 20 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, while former All-EuroCup center Ondrej Balvin dominated inside with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Vitor Benite had 12 points, Marcelinho Huertas and Leandrinho Barbosa 11 each for Brazil. The United States became a quarterfinal qualifier in Group K's second game on Saturday by downing Greece 69-53 behind 15 points from Kemba Walker and 10 from Donovan Mitchell. The U.S. is undefeated at 4-0 while Greece dropped to 2-2. Greece led briefly in the first quarter and was tied 20-20 early in the second before the U.S. went on a 25-10 run that lasted into the middle of the third, opening a 45-30 advantage from which Greece never recovered. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 15 points and Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce added 13 for Greece, which must win by 12 or more points and hope that Brazil loses to the U.S. on Monday in order to continue aspiring to a medal.

GROUP L

Nando De Colo's jump shot with 15 seconds left helped France soar into the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals undefeated with a tight 78-75 victory over Lithuania in Nanjing, China on Saturday. France now has a 4-0 record, carrying over its results from the first round, while Lithuania is 2-2 and out of contention for medals. France controlled the scoreboard from 6-6 until deep into the fourth quarter, when Lukas Lekavicius of Zalgiris Kaunas hit a three-pointer to put Lithuania in front 68-69. Lithuania still led 70-72 entering the final 3 minutes, when De Colo buried his own triple. Lithuania would tie 74-74 on a dunk by Jonas Valanciunas with 1:15 left, but Evan Fournier and De Colo put the icing on the victory. Fournier had 24 points, De Colo 21 and Nicolas Batum 12 for the winners. while Valanciunis had 18 points and Mantas Kalnietis of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 12 for Lithuania. The victory by France also meant that Australia, an earlier 82-76 winner over Dominican Republic, has also reached the quarters. Australia never trailed in nonetheless close game that was tied right after halftime and stood at 48-46 with a little over 4 minutes left in the third quarter. The Aussies pulled away after that, taking a high lead of 81-69 in the games next-to-last minute thanks to a game-high 19 points and 9 assists from Patty Mills. Chris Goulding followed with 15 points while Zalgiris Kaunas center Jock Landale had 13 points in 18 minutes on the floor. Eloy Vargas paced the Dominicans with 16 points but poor 3-for-14 shooting (21%) from long range hurt the losers. Australia's better 9-for-26 rate on three-pointers (35%) came with the help of a 30 to 18 advantage in assists.