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Australia too much for Canada in 2019 FIBA World Cup opener



Dongguan, China – Canada opened-up the 2019 FIBA World Cup with a tough 108-92 loss to Australia in Group H.

Trailing 52-40 at half-time Canada stepped on the gas and ripped-off a quick 11-0 run to cut the lead to 52-51 with 7:38 remaining. Canada took their first lead since the first minute of the game at 58-55 on a made triple by Kevin Pangos.

Khem Birch tip-in put Australia in a 62-57 hole with 5:33 remaining and another silky smooth jumper by Pangos forced the Aussies into their third timeout of the quarter, extending the lead to 65-59 with 4:38 remaining in the third-quarter.

Team Canada outscored the Boomers 37-24 to grab a 77-76 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

It was one-way traffic in the fourth-quarter as Australia held Canada to just two points with 5:54 to go and a 92-79 lead. The Boomers dominated the final period — outscoring the Canadian’s 32-15 to cruise to an easy and important 16-point margin of victory.

Matthew Dellavedova Australia Too Much For Canada In 2019 Fiba World Cup
Matthew Dellavedova drives past Kevin Pangos at 2019 FIBA World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Cleveland Cavaliers Guard Matthew Dellavedova led six Boomers in double-figures including all five Australian NBA players with a game-high 24 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting and a hot 6-of-10 from downtown. Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles did a little bit of everything adding a near double-double with 13 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals. San Antonio’s Patty Mills 15 points, 6 assists. Chris Goulding 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Bruising big-men combo of Andrew Bogut 12 points, 9 rebounds and Aron Baynes 10 points, 4 rebounds banged the Canadians in the interior.

Australia shot 39-of-67 (58%), nailed 11-of-27 triples (41%) and got to the free-throw line at will, thanks to Canada’s poor defensive display — knocking down 19-of-25 (76%) freebies. Canada connected on 34-of-71 (41%) from the field, 9-of-27 from three and 15-of-16 from the charity stripe.

Canadas Khem Birch Thunderous Dunk Australia Too Much For Canada In 2019 Fiba World Cup
Canada’s Khem Birch throws down thunderous dunk against Australia – Photo: FIBA

Khem Birch scored 18 points, 5 rebounds 2 blocks and Cory Joseph returned to action with 16 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds. Kevin Pangos added 14 points, 8 assists, 2 rebounds. Melvin Ejim chipped-in with 9 points, 7 rebounds. Phil Scrubb 9 points, 2 rebounds and Thomas Scrubb 8 points on 2-of-2 triples.

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Canada’s 37-point, third-quarter barrage is the most points by a Canadian squad in a quarter since FIBA switched from a two-half 20-minute format to four 10-minute periods — starting with the 2002 World Cup.

Kevin Pangos tied Steve Nash’s World Cup record with his 8 assists. Nash recorded 8 helpers in Canada’s 104-76 win over China at the 1994 World Cup in Hamilton, Canada.

“I thought we had moments where we played pretty well, played our kind of basketball and I thought there were moments where we struggled and didn’t get stops like we need to, didn’t get good scores like we need to.” discussed Pangos after the game. “They are a good team, they got a lot of talent, a lot of size shooters.”

Canadian Head Coach Nick Nurse At 2019 Fiba World Cup
Canadian Head Coach Nick Nurse organizing his troops at 2019 FIBA World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Head Coach Nick Nurse wasn’t overly upset with his squads effort, “I thought the start wasn’t very good for us, and I didn’t think the end was very good, and I thought the middle as excellent.”

“Didn’t seem to be catching many breaks with the ball bouncing our way early and didn’t shoot it especially well when we did create some good shots. But we regrouped and half-time we came out and put a heck of a third-quarter together and just had again another bad stretch to start the fourth.” added Nick Nurse during the post-game media session.

Canada (0-1) faces a must win situation in their upcoming game against a tough Lithuania (1-0) team that hammered Senegal 101-47 in their opening game and features former Toronto Raptors and current Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas in their next group H encounter.

Australia (1-0) will take on Senegal (0-1) in their next contest and are in prime position to advance to the next round.

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España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo



España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo
Scream if you want to go for Gold in Tokyo...

When Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa almost a decade ago this writer was in London seeing a friend from Seoul, South Korea. From Oxford Circus to the fountain tops of Piccadilly Circus there looked like a million Spanish people lining the streets that all lived here in the Big Smoke (F### Brexit! Multicultural is beautiful). And despite the honking horns and raised glasses it was the most peaceful, beautiful sports celebration I have ever seen. No hostility, just community. A Spanish man fell to his knees in front of me like he’d just scored and grabbed my hand with both of his in prayer. The most beautiful Spanish woman I’ve ever seen in her nations strip and scarf walked past me whilst trailing her fingertips across my arm and asked me flirtatiously whilst giggling, “who won the World Cup!”


Just an old memory to reminisce as we begin.

No Muleta could ever stop this raging red Spanish bull.

Ever since way before Kobe and Pau went from teammates to rivals every Summer, Spain have been one of the biggest nations in Basketball and certainly the most complete team. And now even without the older Spanish G.O.A.T. Gasol watching at home in his uniform and with Team USA given freedom by the bronze placed France, Spain proved once again that they aren’t only the most consistent and best team in Europe…but the greatest in the whole wide world.

Right now and forever more on the way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This FIBA tournament has been something else in its self. And if this writer wasn’t about to start his own road to Japan he would have been able to enjoy it even more. But shout out to editor Edilson Silva’s wrists for keeping us in touch with the tournament on Twitter.

Even without the power of Pau, or many big names in the legendary legacy of the last decade of the Spanish side (no Sergio Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Navarro, Nikola Mirotic, or Serge Ibaka), the Spanish team still ruled like soccer or their basketball brother team Barcelona. As legends like Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and of course Marc Gasol cut South America’s Argentina down to 20 point blowout, 95-75 size like Luis Scola’s trademark hair (but what a run of play for a member of the team of the tournament).

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Spain 2019 Fiba World Cup Champions
Spain Basketball 2019 FIBA World Cup Champions – Photo: FIBA

Marc made his mark as the second player in history to be an NBA Champion and a FIBA World Cup one in the same year, although unfortunately fellow Toronto Raptor Ibaka couldn’t join him. But what a Summer for the first player to do this since the Lakers Lamar Odom almost a decade back in 2010. Only a year after Marc Gasol’s draft rights were traded by the purple and gold for brother Pau.

“The rest of the world have been caught up for quite some time”, like Kobe Bryant said. “The days of the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone”.

Now that’s as true as the U.S. coming in fourth place like half the States had a dance recital.

Congratulations to the real Dream Team…yeah I said it.

Ricky Rubio had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists and no one deserves it more.

Marc Gasol had 14 and 7 in both rebounds and assists.

Sergio Llull had 15.

Rudy Fernandez 11, 10 and 3.

And both Juancho and Willy Hernangomez both had 11 too.

Now what more can you possibly say like reacting to that practice pregame half court heave underarm…from behind the back like a Globetrotter?

What the?

Gabriel Deck led the way for Argentina with 24 whilst the likes of old rivals and friends Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker watched from courtside in a sold out arena in Beijing. Whilst Scola scored 8. Argentina were valiant in the final like they were the whole terrific tourney until they were slain by Spain.

Now expect Spain to control the Japanese Olympics in Tokyo next year like a matador.

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France Say Au Revoir To United States In FIBA World Cup



France Say Au Revoir To United States In Fiba World Cup


From ‘Dream’ to ‘Redeem’, call it what you will but last night in Dongguan, China was a nightmare for Team USA as the United States were sent packing from the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

And it was France who gave Greg Popovich team it’s last kiss last night…and Tony Parker was nowhere in sight, apart from some applause emojis on Twitter in celebration.

A year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and many teams (including the U.S. and Canada baby!) clinching their berths for the Japan games in this tournament, this tourney was more than just a precursor or appetizer for the main event to come in a calendars time. It was a competitive game of brackets for all or nothing in its own right. Not to mention a showcase of just how talented the world’s game is, their teams and the individual talents of players themselves. If you haven’t been tuning in like the media networks with no coverage you’re really missing out and the point like TP9. From Giannis Antetokounmpo showing just how much he gives his body up for club and country. And the Hustle of Memphis Grizzlies Japanese G-League regular Yuta Watanabe showing that when it comes to the Olympics next year it’s not just a Washington Wizards top pick who will be big for Japan. Call him up!

And then of course there’s former Parker backup and Spurs man Patty Mills clicking and lowing the boom with his ruling Aussies as his New Zealand neighbours do the Haka that could even put The Rock’s ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ fast and furious movie Samoan war dance in a hard place. But when it came to Popovich’s countrymen they just couldn’t pop against France as red white and blue beat the stars and stripes 89-79. Ending a 58 non exhibition game winning streak that Dream Teams have kept awake for longer than the wonderful women’s U.S. soccer team.

Must Read:  Raptors' Nick Nurse to coach Canada at 2019 FIBA World Cup

If you ignorantly thought that Basketball had no borders outside America (and really? It’s 2019! Who does apart from Trump? Besides this is a Canadian site), then you really won’t now. France made a statement and those (Laker fans) who social media say that the Walker, Tatum, Brown and Smart Celtics couldn’t even beat France and Kyle Kuzma wouldn’t let this happen shouldn’t take this away from the nation who beat them, fair and block to dunk square.

And besides young to veteran superstars with exuberance and (Rio 2016) experience like Donovan Mitchell and Harrison Barnes respectively and respectfully couldn’t get it done either.

The U.S. played well and will be back to their best next year (but need to bring more big guns and names to the Olympic Games), but France just played better. Much better. From the stifling Eiffel Tower of Rudy Gobert with 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3 beautiful looking blocks from the view up there. Beautiful but brutal as Mitchell and Kemba Walker in the clutch can attest.

“We came here to win Gold,” Gobert told press postgame for a team who wants to lift more World Cups than their soccer counterpart. Between four point plays from Nicolas Batum and a team leading 22 from Evan Fournier on a 50 percent 4 for 8 from three from way back in Paris, this side didn’t even need Spurs like Parker or Boris Diaw. Especially when they had MVP and Knick, Frank Ntilikina. All that side needed was heart and they had it in abundance as France looked better than those Jumpman Paris St Germain black hoodies with Jordan in the A.

And anyone who wants to make this more about the U.S. needs to listen to Brooklyn Net and three point contest winner from downtown China Joe Harris, “We certainly didn’t deserve to win that game.”


Let that or Au Revoir be the last word.

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