#Spain2014 Roundup: Day Five

It was another heartbreak in store for Pinoys on Day Four of the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, as Gilas Pilipinas squandered a 14-point lead and ended up losing to Puerto Rico. Meanwhile Team USA, Slovenia, Greece, and Spain all remained unscathed heading into the final day of group play. 

Action heated up on Day Five of the 2014 FIBA World Cup as
some hearts were broken and some hopes kept alive.

Game recaps (adapted from FIBA.com):
Group A:
IRAN over EGYPT, 88-73
Box Scores 
Iran kept its hopes alive of progressing from Group A with triumph over Egypt in a battle of winless teams. As expected, Hamed Haddadi led Team Melli with 23 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocked shots. He was backstopped by Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, who tallied 24 points on the strength of 6 triples. Bahrami also handed out 6 assists and got 3 steals. Egypt was paced by Youssef Shousha’s 15 points on 5/7 FG shooting.

BRAZIL over SERBIA, 81-73
Box Scores 
Brazil sealed its passage to the next round with a victory over Serbia, thanks to a fast start, a strong finish, and balanced offense. The Brazilians outscored the Serbs, 48-32, in the first half, but the latter leaned on a 32-point third quarter to take the lead entering the fourth period. Brazil, however, finished strongly and snatched the win. Three players scored in double-figures for Brazil, led by Marquinhos Vieira’s 21 points (6 triples). Tiago Splitter and Leandro Barbosa paired up for 26 markers, while Milos Teodosic paced the losing side with 14 points.

Anderson Varejao and the Brazilians survived a tough challenge from Serbia.

SPAIN over FRANCE, 88-64
Box Scores 
Spain dominated its European rival on its way to cementing a Round of 16 berth. The home squad shot 65% from the 2-point area in this one, never really letting the French have any chance of winning. Marc Gasol led the Spaniards with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals, while brother Pau and Juan Carlos Navarro had 15 and 14 points respectively. Nicolas Batum and Antoine Diot each scored 11 to pace the French.

Group B:
Box Scores 
Philippine hearts shattered into a million pieces anew amidst another close defeat in Group B. After leading, 29-15, early in the second quarter, the Pinoys couldn’t hold off the Puerto Ricans long enough to preserve the W. JJ Barea had his best game yet, unloading 30 points on Gilas Pilipinas, including a big three-pointer in the dying minutes. Andray Blatche led Gilas with 25 markers, 14 boards, and 2 blocked shots, but even his MVP-ish form wasn’t enough to tow the Philippines to victory.

Paul Lee consoles LA Tenorio after the Philippines
dropped another close one to Puerto Rico.

Box Scores 
The Argentines were relentless in blasting the Senegalese a day after the former were treated to a close encounter by the Pinoys. Argentina led, 41-24, at the break and never looked back in picking up its third win in four games. Luis Scola impressed for the victors with a 22-point, 14-rebound double-double, while Gorgui Dieng was the only Senegalese to break into double-digits with 11 markers.

GREECE over CROATIA, 76-65
Box Scores 
Greece remained unbeaten with a victory over Croatia to leave Jasmin Repesa's side with a lot of work to do to advance in the tournament. Team Hellas utilized a big second quarter to put some separation between themselves and the Croatians, who were led by Bojan Bogdanovic’s 20 points and 4 rebounds. Ioannis Bourousis delivered for the Greeks with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Kostas Kaimakoglou and Kostas Papanikolaou each recorded 14 markers.

Group C:
Box Scores 
The Tall Blacks finally got on the board after beating Ukraine. Kirk Penney led the way with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Everard Bartlett added 14 markers on 4/5 3pt shooting. The Ukrainians were paced by the combined 29 points of Pooh Jeter and Maxym Kornienko.

Isaac Fotu and the Kiwis remained in contention for the Round of 16 after defeating Ukraine.

TURKEY over FINLAND, 77-73 (OT)
Box Scores 
It took an extra five minutes, but the Turks still prevailed here to still possibly finish in second place if they can beat the Dominican Republic on Day Six. Omer Asik’s 22 points and 8 boards led the victors, while Petteri Koponen was the the best Fin with 17 markers, 5 boards, and 5 dimes.

Box Scores 
This result put the States firmly in first place in Group C, ensuring a smooth route to, at least, the Quarterfinals. After a tight first quarter, Team USA turned on the jets and coasted past the Dominicans, who were led by 15 points from Victor Liz. The frontline duo of Kenneth Faried and DeMarcus Cousins led the Americans with 16 and 13 points respectively, while three others scored 10 or more. 

Group D:
Box Scores 
The Boomers used a big third quarter surge to gain some separation and cruised past Mexico for their third win in the tourney. Aron Baynes had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks for the Aussies, while Gustavo Ayon’s 11 points paced the Mexicans.

Box Scores 
The Slovenians had to scramble here in order to beat the mighty Angolans. The African champs led entering the payoff period before dropping this tight contest. Big man Domen Lorbek led the winners with 17 points and 4 assists, while Roberto Fortes scored 21 markers for the losing side.

Box Scores 
Lietuva recovered from a loss to Australia by humbling Korea. The Asian side was better in the first period, but the Europeans then took over by virtue of their superior inside game. Donatas Montiejunas had 18 points for Lithuania, while Adas Juskevicious dropped 20 markers. Moon Tae-Jong paced the Koreans with 15 markers while Kim Jong-Kyu added a dozen.

Korean living legend Kim Joo-Sung is playing in his last World Cup.

All images are from FIBA.

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1 Comment

Hello sir Enzo.
I've been meaning to bring this topic after the Croatia game but i couldn't find time.

This is regarding Jordan Clarkson's eligibility for Philippine team.
After news of the Fil-Am's NBA draft broke out, there were a lot of comments from Filipino hoopnuts over the internet saying he's not eligible for Philippine national teeam, so his success as a player doesn't serve our FIBA cause..
He will just be like Chris Ellis or Sol Mercado who never obtained their passports before the age of 16(? or 17? or 18?) which blocks them in playing for Philippines.
Just like Jeremy Lin who will never play for Taiwan despite being full-blood due to his non-citizenship there, since he was American all his life.

However, I find that the rule isn't really strictly construed for some national teams.

Take the case of Greek national player and Memphis Grizzlies star Nick Calathes.
He was born and raised American. I'm not sure if he's half-American half-Greek by blood, or pure Greek on both his parents.
But that's not the point, since either way, what matters is what age he got his passport of the nation he is playing for. It turns out, he only obtained his Greek passport by 2008, where he was already 19 years and 4 months old. He got to play the U20 Greek team later that year and the seniors team the next year.

So apparently, the fact that Calathes is playing right now for Greece makes the age-passport rule irrelevant. This probably holds true for some South -American, European and African national players who have previous citizenship from other countries.
Jordan Clarkson, provided he holds a Filipino passport, has the same chance of playing for Philippines as Nick Calathes for Greece. The same is true for PBA Fil-foreigners as Ellis, Devance, Melton, Mercado, Banchero, Pringle, etc.

And though I'm not particularly namedropping those Pba players to want for them to join Gilas, (i do like Ellis, Pringle and Banchero to give it a shot for the pool) I'm hoping Jordan Clarkson can. I hope SBP would arrange for him to play in the near future, with the probable exit of some Gilas players players aged 33 and up.
Imagine how far Gilas can go in future Olympic level games with Two NBa quality players of Clarkson and Blatche and the entry of highly talented young stars set to join Gilas with the FIBA-experienced young turks of Lee, Castro, Fajardo, Aguilar.

I can only hope Philippine basketball will continue to improve in FIBA stages.