Wednesday, August 23, 2006

2006 FIBA World Champs--Wednesday Games Recap

Games played on Wednesday (8/23):

GROUP A:
- Argentina 98, Nigeria 64: Argentina keeps on rolling & secured a 1st place finish in Group A. Andres Nocioni was the star of the day by shooting a perfect 9/9 from the field for 23 pts & a perfect 5/5 from 3pt. Manu pitched in with 20 pts., & 3 assts on 7/9 shooting (3/4 from 3pt.) in only 17 minutes. Walter Herrmann cooled off a little from deep (1/5) after going 9/15 from 3pt in the two previous games, but still added 12 pts. Luis Scola has another highly efficient night by shooting 5/7 for 12 pts. & 5 rebs. Former Texas Longhorn Gabe Muoneke had another solid game for Nigeria with 10 pts & once again drew fouls. Former Mich. State Spartan Aloysius Anongoyne bulled his way to 11 rebs (4 off) to help Nigeria to grab 15 off. rebs. Nigeria needs to beat Lebanon tomorrow to keep their playoff hopes alive.

- Serbia 90, Venezuela 65: Igor Rakocevic was downright awesome with 26 pts on 9/12 shooting (5/5 from 3pt.), with 4 rebs. & 3 assts. Darko also was pretty darn good with 18 pts., 11 rbs., 4 assts., & 6 blocks. Serbia improved to 2-2 in Group A, but it's too early to tell if they're in the playoffs because there could possibly be a 3-way tie for 4th place. If Serbia can somehow beat Argentina, they can assure a spot.

- Lebanon 74, France 73: Biggest upset of the day. Lebanon is now surprisingly 2-2 & in serious contention for a playoff berth. France's main sorespot was exposed again--France shot 3/26 from 3pt. Boris Diaw was alright in the loss--14 pts. & 6 rbs. (5 off.) Fred Weis had another good game with 10 pts. on 5/7 & 7 boards (4 off.). Florent Pietrus (Mike's brother) pitched in with 13 & 11 rbs. France's playoff life is now in a more precarious position, when they could have sewn up the 2-seed with a win.

GROUP B:
- Spain 93, Angola 83: Maybe a little bit closer than Spain expected, but Angola has been the best surprise of the tourney. Pau had a great performance with 28 pts., 5 rebs., & 4 assts. on 11/16 shooting. Possible lottery prospect Rudy Fernandez continued his strong tourney with 16 pts (3/3 on 3pts.) & 3 steals. Current Toronto Raptor PF Jorge Garbajosa was 4/7 from 3pt. for 15 pts. J. Gomes led the way for Angola with 24 pts. & 11 rebs. The Angola-Germany game will determine the 2-seed in Group B--don't count out Angola for an upset, with the way they've been playing it's not out of the question.

-Germany 81, Panama 63: Germany cruised to victory with Dirk leading the way with 25 pts. & 13 minutes. Demond Greene added 12 pts. Germany next plays the surprising 3-1 Angola--the winner of the game gets the 2-seed in Group B. The only question I have--is why Coach Bauermann playing Dirk 32 minutes in this game?

- New Zealand 60, Japan 57: Real ugly game--both teams combined for 40 TOs & a combined 32.4% from the floor. New Zealand has really underachieved this whole tourney. Pero Cameron led the way with 23 & 8. Current Winthrop University center Craig Bradshaw had 12 & 10, and former U of Wisconsin guard Kirk Penney chipped in 13 pts. If New Zealand beats Panama, they get the 4th seed; if they lose, they have to go to a tiebreaker scenario.

GROUP C:
-Lithuania 78, Australia 57: A less competitive game than expected; I have to imagined Australia was still licking their wounds after they let the Greece game slip away the night before. Arvydas Macijauskas led all scorers with 20 pts. and also added 7 assts & 3 steals. San Antonio property Robert Javtokas was a presence in the middle with 16 pts. on 7/8, 12 boards (4 off.) & 2 blocks. Wash. Wizard D. Songalia had another solid game with 14 pts. & 3 steals. Andrew Bogut again did not get many shots up (4/7 from the floor for 12 pts) & he had 6 TOs. NBA draft prospect Brad Newley led the way for Aust. with 15 pts. on 4/6 3pt., but he had 6 TOs himself. Sam Mackinnon had another good all-around game with 7 pts., 7 rebs., & 5 assts. Australia hurt themselves again with 28 TOs, after 23 TOs vs. Greece the nite before. Australia's still in good shape for a playoff berth because they should beat Qatar.

- Turkey 76, Qatar 69: A little tighter game than Turkey would have liked, but they got to rest Kutluay & Erdogen, who both sat out the game, in preparation for a much anticipated battle for 1-seed vs. Greece.

GROUP D:
-China 100, Senegal 83: China won their 1st game of the tourney fairly easy with Yao leading the way with 26 & 9. Former Miami Heat towel-waver Wang Zhi-Zhi helped out with 19 & 9 on 3/6 from 3pt. land. China needs to beat Slovenia to have any chance at a playoff berth.

- Slovenia 90, Puerto Rico 82: A long-distance shootout--Slovenia shot 54% from 3pt, compared to 55% by P.R. PG Jaka Lakovic led Slovenia with 24 pts. on 6/10 from 3pt. Brezec (Charlotte) had another solid outing with 14 pts. & 7 rbs. Rasho again was solid with 12 & 9. Bostjan Nachbar was active again with 11 rbs to go with 10 pts. Beno Udrih added 16 pts. Carlos Arroyo & Larry Ayuso paced P.R. once again combining for 41 pts. If Slovenia beats China, both Slov. & P.R. get a playoff berth, so a Slovenia win benefits P.R. as well.

*--I hope to have a more in-depth analysis of the Greece-Brazil game later today.

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