More teams took to the court in the European bracket of the ongoing 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Saturday. France highlighted the day with an impressive display of force, dominating Bosnia and Herzegovina 102-52. This has been one of the biggest blowout victories in the competition thus far. The win keeps France’s record pristine at 5-0 as they top Group E and lock up a berth into the second round. France joins Spain, Lithuania, Germany, and Greece as the only teams left without suffering a loss.
Rudy Gobert and Vincent Poirier led the charge for the French squad, dropping 16 points each. Andrew Albicy was a monster on defense, collecting six steals for France.
The loss drops BIH to 2-3 but their hold on third place in Group E remains secure, with Belgium falling to Russia 66-84 and are now 0-5 in the tournament. Russia outmuscled Belgium in the paint and cruised to an easy victory of their own. Veterans Timofey Mozgov and Dmitry Khvostov did Belgium in with 14 points apiece. Mozgov took care of business in the paint while Khvostov bombarded the Belgians with four triples.
This is an interesting group thanks to the developments that transpired on Saturday. The Czech Republic leads the group with their 4-1 slate, thanks to a 77-73 win over Finland. The other three teams in the group, however, have identical 2-3 records, making it one of the more exciting groups to watch moving forward. Iceland is currently on the bubble (4th) due to tiebreakers. That said, a slip up by either Finland or Bulgaria could mean a drastic change of fates in this FIBA World Cup Qualifier.
Bulgaria narrowly edged out Iceland 88-86 on Friday.
Germany continued on its run in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers with a convincing win over Austria 85-63. Riding high on the 25-point monster game by Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder, Germany made short work of the Austrian squad. Schroder was on beast mode throughout the game, knocking down 4-of-6 treys and 11-of-12 shots from the free throw line. Austria’s Thomas Schreiner tried to answer with his 14 points, but it was not enough to offset Schroder’s onslaught.
Serbia improved their record to 4-1 with an 84-66 win over Georgia on Friday.
The United Kingdom got on the board with their first win, dropping Estonia 74-65. They’re 1-4 but this more than just a moral victory. Israel and Estonia are at 2-3 and if either of them drops another game and should the UK log another win, things could shake up in this group.
Dan Clark and Gabe Olaseni teamed up to lead the UK with 20 and 16 points, respectively.