The second round of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers opened on September 13th and it was a bang! The opening night of this phase of the event had its fair share of upsets, but several teams managed to stay the course and remained undefeated.
Bulgaria 74 – 68 France
Bulgaria came up with one of the biggest upsets of the event. They handed France their first loss of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. Naturalized player Dee Bost paved the way with 17 points and six rebounds. He was well complemented by Dimitar Dimitrov chipped in with 15 points.
Veteran swingman Nicolas Batum was the key performer for France with a well-rounded effort and dropped 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
France is still in good shape with a 6-1 slate, but this was a much-needed win for the green shirts as it ups their record to 3-4.
Estonia 43 – 86 Germany
Germany blasted past Estonia in the biggest blowout of the second round. Dennis Schroder was an unstoppable spitfire and powered Germany with 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. It was not a one-man show though as the entire Deutch team got involved in the victory. The well-deserved win keeps Germany’s pristine record intact.
Germany’s momentum is still in high gear and they are poised to punch their ticket to China.
Finland 85 – 81 Bosnia and Herzegovina
This was one of the closest games of the second round’s opening night. This was an impressive win by Finland who improved to a 4-3 record in Group K. This was a must-win game for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is now at the bottom of the group with their 2-5 slate. They’re in dire straits and are in immediate risk of not advancing.
Sasu Salin had a monster game with 27 points to lift Finland to victory. Portland Trail Blazers’ center Jusuf Nurkic flirted with a double-double and posted 20 points and nine rebounds.
Israel 80 – 85 Georgia
Georgia outscored Israel 20-12 in the fourth quarter to complete their comeback and secure the win. This was a key win for Georgia. It gives them a 3-4 record, identical to Israel. But thanks to this win, they leap ahead in the Group L standings thanks to tiebreakers.
Tornike Shenegalia powered Georgia to victory with 22 points, nine boards and four triples. He was instrumental in Georgia’s late-game run.
Greece 70 – 63 Serbia
Greece stayed hot in the second round opener and improved to 7-0 in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. Both Germany and Greece have perfect records in Group L but that won’t last forever. Serbia is in third place in the group with a 4-3 record.
Nick Calathes and Georgios Printezis paced Greece with 15 points apiece. Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic put up a valiant effort with Serbia and dropped 19 points and four rebounds.
Czech Republic 80 – 78 Russia
The Czech Republic edged out Russia in the closest game of the night. Tomas Satoransky sank a floater in the dying seconds of the game and emerged the hero for the Czech Republic. He finished the game with 18 points and helped keep his team within striking distance. Jaromir Bohacik led all Czech players with 19 points.
Russia slides down to fourth place in Group K with a 3-4 record. Veteran guard Alexey Shved could not get his offense going all night and was limited to making just 4-of-15 of his field goal attempts but still managed to finish with 16 points. Dimitry Khvostov led Russia with a team-high 18 points.