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2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA: Spain romps Group G


Spain completed a sweep of Group G, winning by 20 against the also-ran Iran with a score of 85-65, to conclude the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 on Wednesday at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta.

The victory secured La Roja’s first-place finish in Group G, while Team Melli moved into the classification phase without securing any wins.

Building on their momentum from the previous quarters, Spain continued their dominance, highlighted by an alley-oop conversion from Atlanta Hawks center Usman Garuba, extending their lead to the largest margin of the game, 85-65.

A buzzer-beating triple by Dario Brizuela allowed La Roja to convert a five-point lead into a significant 12-point advantage as they headed into the final frame, with a score of 64-52.

Overcoming a slow start in the opening quarter, Spain trimmed a nine-point deficit to just one point, spurred by a 10-2 burst against Iran led by the efforts of Juancho Hernangomez, Juan Nunez, and Joel Parra, bringing the score to 16-17.

The offensive load for La Roja was carried by the Hernangomez brothers, as Juancho and Willy scored 21 and 16 points respectively. Santi Aldama, a forward for the Memphis Grizzlies, contributed 11 points and eight rebounds with an impressive 63-percent shooting percentage, while Garuba added six points, three rebounds, and two blocks.

In the loss, Mohammad Amini and Behnam Yakhchali led Team Melli, combining for 31 of Iran’s 65 points. No other player from Iran scored in double figures.

Spain’s victory sets up a matchup with Latvia in the Round of 16 on Friday, while Iran is set to face a strong France team tomorrow to begin their classification phase run.

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In an earlier game, Brazil secured a spot in the global showcase’s second stage by outlasting Ivory Coast with a final score of 89-77.

With this win, the Cariocas are poised to face an undefeated Canada in the Round of 16 on Friday, while the Les Elephants will commence their classification phase campaign against Lebanon tomorrow.

Although a pull-up jumper by Solo Diabate narrowed Ivory Coast’s gap to five points at 74-79, consecutive three-pointers from Georginho De Paula and Yago Santos secured Brazil’s 2-1 record in the group stage, with a final score of 85-74.

Despite a 15-5 run from the Les Elephants that maintained a five-point gap, the Cariocas remained ahead, responding with a 10-0 burst in the early moments of the third quarter, with a score of 65-70.

After a Vafessa Fofana three-pointer granted Ivory Coast a three-point lead in the second quarter at 30-33, Brazil launched a 17-6 run powered by Yago Santos’ eight-point contribution, creating separation from the African squad, with the score at 47-39.

Santos led the Cariocas’ offense with a double-double of 24 points and 12 assists. Additionally, three other Brazilian players, Tim Soares, De Paula, and Caboclo, reached double digits, combining for 40 points.

Four Les Elephants players reached double digits, led by Cedric Bah’s double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Diabate and Jean Dally contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)

The Scores:

First Game:

Brazil (89) – Y. Santos 24, Soares 15, De Paula 13, Caboclo 12, Meindl 7, G. Santos 7, Felicio 6, Benite 2, Dias 0

Ivory Coast (77) – Bah 13, Diabate 12, Dally 11, Kone 10, Moulare 10, Dadiet 7, Fofana 6, Sidibe 4, Tape 2, Abouo 2, Zouzoua 0

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Quarterscores: 23-25, 50-46, 70-65, 89-77

Second Game:

Spain (85) – J. Hernangomez 21, W. Hernangomez 16, Aldama 11, Abrines 6, Garuba 6, Claver 5, Llull 5, Nunez 5, Diaz 4, Brizuela 3, Parra 3

Iran (65) – Amini 19, Yakhchali 12, Ehaddadi 7, Girgoorian 6, Agha Miri 5, Vahedi 4, Mirzaei 3, Rezaeifar 3, Aliakbari 2, Kazemi 2, Mashayekhi 2, Aghajanpour 0

Quarterscores: 16-17, 43-34, 64-52, 85-65

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