is the World Champion!!!
The Australian basketball
doesn't enjoy a lot of respect around the world. Sure, some of you can
mention Andrew Gaze and some other names that became a big name outside
"Down Under" in the last 15 years, but how many of you would consider an
Aussie NT as a gold candidate in a World Championship. As of tonight,
you are asked to make a switch. Sure, it's still not likely to happen in
the "real" World Championship of the big guys, but the Australian
basketball won a lot of respect here in Thessaloniki in the last days.
The Junior NT of Australia is the new World Champion in basketball. The
Aussies demolished Lithuania in the finals and celebrate their win with
their supporting fans that showed their presence in any game of their
team with some "Made in Australia" cheers. It's worth mentioning that
Australia, that didn't play a lot of practice games before the
championship, doesn't have more than one SuprerStar, but the assisting
team of Andrew Bogut , did a great great job throughout the entire
The Aussies were on the edge of elimination in the last game of the QF
round. They faced the unbeatable USA and had to win in order to advance.
Piece of cake. Australia won 106-85, and the Americans were out of the
Semi Finals. Then they faced the European Champion - Croatia in the Semi
Finals. No big deal. Australia won "only" 97-84 after leading by double
than that during the 3rd quarter. Finals? No sweat. Australia averaged
101.5 pts in the Semi Finals and the game vs. the USA, but in the finals
scored 100 points already after 30 minutes. Amazing! Lithuania was
probably still celebrating the big win in the Semi Finals vs. the
hosting Greek team, and was totally out of the game. Lithuania was
totally denied but they too deserve a lot of good words for their
performance in the championship.
Andrew Bogut was named the MVP of the Juniors World
Championship. Along with him in the All star 5 of the championship are
Linas Kleiza (Lithuania - 8 votes as well as Bogut), Kostas Vassiliadis
(Greece - 6 votes), Roko-Leni Ukic (Croatia - 5 votes) and Jose Barea
(Puerto Rico - 5 votes). Other mentioned players are D. Brown (USA),
Darius Silinskis (Lithuania), Drago Pasalic (Croatia) and Sofoklis
Final: Australia 126 - Lithuania 92 Both teams met already in the QF group. Back then Lithuania
stunned Australia with a huge first half, that kept Australia behind by
20+ points in the first half already. A great war and by Australia in
the 2nd half was enough only to reduce the margin, but not to complete a
comeback. That was Australia's only loss in the championship. The finals
game was the exact opposite.
The Lithuanians went strong on Andrew Bogut, the MVP of the Aussie team,
but not only Bogut had 10 pts already in the first quarter, the Aussie
guards were strong in the game. Three pointers, a great full court press
defense that produced a lot of steals and easy points and great fight in
the rebound erased the Lithuanian defense that brought them to the
finals. 35-23 to Australia after 10 minutes.
Kleiza took the game on his shoulders and tried to bring Lithuania back
to the game, but the Aussie guards, especially Steven Marcovic, and
Bogut himself, were unstoppable. After 15 minutes Australia already
scored 59 points. Amazing pace. The Lithuanians scored 20 pts less than
that, and no time out by the Lithuanian coach helped. The Aussies
continued to run, steal, jump, fight and score. After 20 minutes
Australia had 71 against only 50 of Lithuania. Bogut had a double-double
of 21 pts and 10 rebounds already after one half. Marcovic had 21 pts in
75% from the field as well. 3 players of the Australian team that shot
in 61% 2FG and 60% of 3FG, had an evaluation of more than 1.0. Something
that even old stats people in Greece can't remember. Kleiza had 18 pts
for Lithuania in the first half.
The 2nd half was pure garbage time. Australia continued to play with
their opponent. Bogut dunked, Marcovic hit and after 3 quarters the
score was 100-74. With 5 minutes to play Marcovic fouled out after
scoring 30 points and earned his cheers from the crowd. 2.5 minutes
after him Andrew Bogut finished his championship and watched the last
minutes of the game from the bench. Bogut got the deserved respect from
the crowd. Sam Harris, the Aussie giant, that didn't play a lot of
minutes in the games, got the honor to dunk one of the finals baskets in
the finals. 126-92 is the score to be memorized.
Andrew Bogut had 35 pts in 11/17 from the field, 14 rbs and 3 assists,
Steven Marcovic added 30 pts in 11/19 from the field, Matthew Knight
scored 17 in 8/10 from the field and Brad Newley had 16. Linas Kleiza
had 26 for the silver medal winners, Barbauskas nailed 20 and Jomantas
had 15. 3-4 place: Greece 73 - Croatia 64 The two teams met already a few days ago and Croatia won by one
point from a big 3 pointer in the last seconds. The battle for the
bronze was a close game as well, but the final minutes were different.
For 3 quarters the teams were close to each other and after 30 minutes
Greece had a 62-56 lead. In the first 7 minutes of the last quarter both
teams had a big difficulty to find the ring. Greece scored only 1 point,
Croatia responded with 4, but was only one possession behind.
Perperoglou and Vassiliadis made sure this time Ukic won't take the
lead, and secured the bronze for Greece. Vougioukas, that didn't get
many chances so far, was the MVP of the game for Greece with 20 pts and
11 rbs, Schortsanitis added only 10 pts and 5 rbs while Perperoglou had
10 and 7 rbs. Ukic finished the games with 21 pts and 7 assists, Tomas
added 15 and Pasalic made 10 pts and only 6 rbs.
5-6 place: USA 82 - Puerto Rico 80 The USA dominated the first half but a great comeback of PR in
the 3rd called for a close end. Barea was everywhere and was only 4
assists short of a triple double. Deron Williams nailed the last shot of
the game the broke the 80-80 tie, while PR failed to exploit its last
chance. Pittsnogle had 17 pts including 5/8 from 3 for the Americans,
Williams and Graham Brown scored 12 each. Barea had 32 pts in 10/17 from
the field and 4/8 from 3, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Verdejo added 16. 7-8 place: Slovenia 67 - Turkey 63 Turkey finishes the championship in the 8th place after it was
so close to the Semi Finals. Both teams didn't have too much energy for
this game, and Turkey was the one who took advantage of that in the
first 3 quarters. Slovenia made a big effort in the last quarter to
avoid a 5th loss in a row, and a missed 3 point shot by the Turkish
Atsor in the last seconds helped them end the games with some sweet
taste. Zagorac with 21 pts. 8 rbs and 4 assists ruled, Lorbek added 20
and 11 rbs while Smigic nailed 10 with 8 rbs. In Turkey Engin ATsor had
20 pts and 7 rebounds while Pastal had 8 pts and 10 rbs. 9-10 place: Venezuela 78 - Argentina 76 Argentina didn't lose since the end of the 1st phase, until
Venezuela put an end to that. Venezuela was accurate from the line in
the last seconds and Argentina only made a 3 pointer in the last seconds
to cut it down to a 2 point loss. Carlos Sandes and Patricio Rodriguez
scored 18 pts each for Argentina. Urdaneta led the winners with 30 pts
and Cedeno added 19. Marriaga finished the games with 6 pts and 12 rbs. 11-12 place: Nigeria 99 - Korea 70 Korea was better in the first quarter but Nigeria knocked them
out in the other 3 quarters and won by 29 pts, including a 52-23 score
in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Churchill Odia had 24 pts and Echefu added
17 for Nigeria. Yim with 15 and Lee with 14 made it for the Koreans. Ha
finished the games with 8 pts, 3 rbs and 4 blocks.
and Lithuania in the finals!
Greece is in shock. The local
team, that crushed every opponent in the a game that mattered until now,
and was the #1 gold contender, was eliminated in the Semi Finals by
Lithuania. The team from Lithuania displayed a great team work in front
of thousands crazy Greek fans and won 75-72. In the finals they will
meet Australia, that showed once again they are not the most talented
team in the games, but when you play like a team and fight even the
European Championship goes down. After eliminating the USA in the QF
with a 20+ pt win, they routed Croatia too 97-84 and made it to the
finals for the 2nd time in the last 3 championships.
Once again it was proved that not the teams with the
most talented players and biggest stars make it to the gold. Greece and
Croatia will probably send more players to the high level of world
basketball in the future, but Lithuania and Australia are the best
coached national teams here. The 2 best forwards in the championship,
Linas Kleiza of Lithuania and Andrew Bogut of Australia, will meet in
the finals. Both teams already played each other in the QF group, and
Lithuania won. Now it's time for a rematch.
Lithuania 75 - Greece 72 There was no big basketball in this game, but what a war.
Lithuania scored its first points only after 3 minutes, and Greece
scored its 4th point after 6. The Lithuanians made double and triple
team every time Baby Shaq got the ball, and when they made it in time he
was stopped. Big pressure of Greece on defense made it possible to keep
Lithuania behind in the 2nd quarter and only Kleiza kept Lithuania in
the game, 42-32 at half time.
Lithuania stayed around 10 pts behind during the 3rd and got ready
quietly to the last quarter. Kleiza was huge in the 4th quarter and
Silinskis made a huge job in defense on Baby Shaq, that committed his
4th foul early in the 4th. Kleiza slowly cut down the lead and Jankunas
completed his job and put Lithuania on top with a 5 pt lead. Baby Shaq
had to leave the court after he started bleeding. Before that he chased
a little after Silinskis, that hurt him, and at that moment Silinskis
was the most scared 215 cm guy in the history. Baby Shaq hit a few more
objects on the way to the locker room, but once he was back the whole
arena was pushing Greece back to the game.
Greece cut the margin down to 2, and everything was set for a Greek
comeback. Baby Shaq had to leave the court once again to take care of
his bleeding, and all of a sudden it took one minute to clean every
sweat spot on the floor. Vassiliadis, in a terrible game, missed for the
10th time from behind the arc (2/12), Arturas Jomantas nailed only one
from the line and Greece had 18 seconds to close a 3 pt difference,
73-70.Perperoglou scored a quick 2 and with 7.25 seconds to play Kleiza
was sent to the line. The Lithuanian forward nailed them both and Greece
failed to get a good shot in the last seconds. 75-72 for Lithuania.
Greece, just like in the European Championship, is out in the Semi
The Lithuanians, that displayed great team play on both ends of the
floor, were led by Linas Kleiza who scored 27 pts in 50% from the field,
11/13 from the free throw line, grabbed 13 rebounds, passed 3 assists,
stole 4 balls and blocked 3 shots. Silinskis in his best game in the
championship had 18 pts and 7 rbs while Jankunas had 10 pts and 10 rbs.
Perperoglou scored 24 for Greece, Baby Shaq added 17 pts, 10 rbs and 4
assists and Vassiliadis was terrible with 8 pts in 3/19 from the field.
Australia 97 - Croatia 84 This one was decided already in the 3rd quarter, but the big
run started in the 2nd. Croatia was better in the first minutes, but
once Australia was in the game there was no stop. During the Aussie run
in the 2nd quarter Damian Martin tried a ¾ court pass, but the ball,
accidently, went right into the hoop and added 3 more point for the
Aussies on the way to a 49-35 half time lead. Andrew Bogut had 21 pts
and 17 rbs already in the first half. The Croatians lost their head and
made too many turnovers already in their half court. In the last quarter
Croatia made a come back and was down by only 10 with 3 minutes to go,
but continued to play like there's 10 more minutes and didn't pressure
the ball enough. Australia managed to keep the lead and win by 13.
Andrew Bogut was the MVP of the game and could be the one of the entire
championship. Tonight he had 39 pts in 14/22 from the field and 25 rbs
in a crucial game. Ukic led Croatia with 16 pts but in very bad
percentages 6/23 and 7 assists, Pasalic had 15 pts and 14 rbs while
Kedzo added 14.
Puerto Rico 85 - Turkey 78 Turkey was one Croatian three pointer from the Semi Finals but
they will play for the 7th place after all. Turkey took off in the 3rd
but great full court pressure and fighting of Puerto Rico turned the
game upside down. Barea was great with 24 pts and 5 assists, Ramos had a
very good performance with 17 pts, 21 rbs and 5 blocks while Orozco
added 17 and 9 rbs. Pastal displayed his best game so far with 23 pts
and 15 rbs. Kacaniku had 21 and Atsor scored only 11 USA 77 - Slovenia 72 Many believed that just like in Indianapolis the Americans will
continue to fall after the elimination from the SF, but turns out
Slovenia wasn't in the right mood and lost for the 4th time in a row.
One close first half came to an end with Slovenia up by 4, but the USA
took over in the 3rd quarter and sailed to the 5-6 games. Paul Davis had
20 pts and 8 rbs, Daniel Brown added 17 pts and Abdush Shakur nailed 10.
Sasa Zagorac scored 26 pts and grabbed 7 rbs, Smigic added 15 and Eraze,
Lorbek had 12 pts with 15 rbs.
Angola 85 - China 73 Angola finish the WC in the 13th place while China drops to
14th. Angola dominated the 2nd half and won it 49-25 on the way to the
12 pt win. Dos Santon had 23 pts, Rosa Barros added 19 and Mieze
finished the games with 18 pts and 9 rbs. Yi, one of the most promising
players in the games, played the entire 40 minutes and finished with 13
pts. 10 rbs and 5 blocks.
Malaysia 77 - Iran 67 First win for Malaysia in its last game in the championship.
Malaysia is officially NOT the weakest team in the WC. Iran, that was
outscored 20-8 in the 2nd quarter, will finish last in the 16th place
while Malaysia grab the 15th. Phang nailed 15 pts, and Soo added 13.
Zamani was the leading scorer of Iran with 18 while Jaber Rouzbahani had
11 pts, 15 rbs and 3 blocks.
a warm up for the Semi Finals
Today only the 9-16 teams
played in hope to grab a better position. The Semi Finals between Greece
- Lithuania and Croatia - Australia will take place tomorrow night. The
result of today's games are that Venezuela will face Argentina for the
9th place, Korea and Nigeria will play for 11th place, China and Angola
will place for 13th place and Iran will probably set Malaysia as the
16th place in the games.
Argentina 89 - Korea 83 Korea was very close to upset the team from Argentina, but
didn't have enough experience to keep the 7 point lead it had less than
5 minutes to go. Argentina played full court pressure in the last
minutes, nailed some 3 point shots, and will play for the 9th place. Lee
scored 20 points for Korea, Yang had a double double of 17 pts and 13
rebounds while Ha finished with 11 pts and 11 rbs. Muruaga had 15 for
Argentina, Sandes added 14 with 13 rebounds, Zago 12 and Figueroa 11
with 8 assists. Venezuela 76 - Nigeria 74 After a first half controled by Nigeria the team from Venezuela
took over and was on its way to an easy win. But then came a huge
comeback of Nigeria, with some crazy 3 point shots and a flagrent foul
of Venezuela that gave Nigeria a chance to win. Marriaga made the
winning block in the last possession of Nigeria and Venezuela celebrated
its win. Odia had 20 for Nigeria, Tat added 15. Cedeno ruled for the
winners with 24 pts and 9 rebounds, while Marriaga had 18 pts, 12 rbs
and 1 winning block.
Places 13-16 China 101 - Malaysia 71 Easy win for China. The Chinese coach didn't win a lot of
popularity here after he didn't let his big prospect Jianling Yi play in
the 2nd half at all. The few people that came to the game, and were
expecting to watch the prodigy, were highly disappointed. Malaysia
proved once again as the weakest team in the games. Yi still managed to
have 12 pts and 6 rbs in the first half. Zhao nailed 20 while Wang and
Chen added 16 each. Phang led Malaysia with 11 pts. Angola 63 - Iran 60 One of the worst games in the championship, but someone must
win, and this time it was Angola. Iran made a big run in the 3rd
quarter, but Angola was dominating in the 4th and with another
performance of Dos Santos (13 pts) and Roza Barros (14 pts) will play
for the 13th place. Rouzbahani had a very good game with 22 pts, 8/13
from the field, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Omerhodzic carry Croatia with a 3 pointer; USA is out!
Greece - Lithuania and
Croatia - Australia. These are the Semi Finals of the 2003 Junior World
Championship. 3 European teams and 1 from down under. 8 years ago, in
the same country, Greece made it to the finals and beat Australia. Can a
rematch take place on the 20th? The USA was eliminated from the Semi
Finals after a huge upset against Australia that celebrated on the floor
their huge win for a long time. The USA, that lost for the first time
today, will face Slovenia and Puerto Rico will play Turkey in the first
phase of the 5-8 games. Croatia 73 - Greece 72 Greece, that didn't win by less than 20 so far, faced Croatia,
that had to win in order to qualify to the Semi Finals. Any other result
would have sent Turkey to the Semi Finals with Greece. In other words,
Greece had to lose in order to keep Turkey out of the Semi Finals. And
what do you think happend?
Let's start from the top. Croatia had the ball with 2 down, and less
than 30" to play. Ukic, that just nailed a huge 3 pointer to tie the
game, called the play after Baby Shaq hit 2 free throws to set the score
on 70-72 for Greece. Ukic almost made a turnover, but somehow the ball
Damir Omerhodzic (210-C/F-85)'s hand. The young forward stood on the
3 point line, and nailed probably the biggest shot of his career. A 3
point shot that won the game for Croatia, and sent them to the Semi
Finals vs. Australia. Greece lost for the first time in the
championship. Pasalic had 20 points with 14 rebounds, Ukic made 19 pts,
Tomas added 15 and Omerhodzic finished with 7 points and 2/4 from behind
the line. Baby Shaq had 16 pts and 12 rebounds, while Vassiliadis had 16
Turkey 87 - Slovenia 60
Slovenia is one big disappointment in the QF group. The EC runner up
lost all the 3 games, and 2 of them by a huge margin. Turkey, that
didn't play well in the first round, beat both Croatia and Slovenia
quite easily. Turkey took a double-digit lead already in the first
quarter and didn't let go until the very end. This time Atsor cleared
the way for his friends and the big stars were Murat Kaya with 19 pts in
7/8 from the field, Valentin Pastal with 14 pts in 5/6 from the field
and 13 pts each from Halil Kutruza and Caner Topaloglou. Mocnik nailed
14 pts in 6/7 FG and Zagorac had 10, but that's all for Slovenia that
will play for 5-8. Erazem Lorbek had a disappointing game with 6 pts and
5 rebounds. Turkey was sure they are going for the Semi Finals after the
game, but then came Omerhodzic…
Group 5 Australia 106 - USA 85 It happened last season in Indianapolis, it's happening here
once again. It's not a dream team, but the USA team will play for the
5-8 places in the Junior WC too! The Americans could afford a 7 pt loss
to Australia, that enjoy the most colorful and noisy group of fans here,
but lost their head and the game by 21 pts. The Aussies took off in the
2nd quarter and increased to lead in the 2nd half. Bogut was everywhere
and finished with 22 pts, 18 rebounds and 5 assists, Aaron Bruce had 25
pts in 10/15 from the field while Bradley Robbins and Matthew Knight had
13 each. Paul Davis had 28 pts and 15 rebounds for the Americans,
Alexander nailed 15 and Brown only 14 with 7 assists. Lithuania 90 - Puerto Rico 77
Lithuania is in the Semi Finals after another sweet win in the QF group.
Puerto Rico, as always, showed a big heart, and played very emotionally
but that wasn't enough against a very skilled team from Lithuania, that
took off in the 4th quarter. Linas Kleiza nailed 42 points and pulled 10
rebounds for the winners. Jankunas added 16 pts and 15 rebounds. Jose
Barea, the star of PR, finished with 26 pts and 9 assists, while Verdejo
had 18 points. 9-16 games China will face Malaysia and Angola
will play Iran in the first phase of the 13-16 games in 2 days.
Argentina will face Korea and Nigeria will face Venezuela in the 9-12
Iran 79 - Malaysia 58
Easy win for Iran vs. the weak team of Malaysia. Rouzbahani nailed 20
pts in 8/11 from the field with 5 rebounds and 9 blocks.
Argentina 91 - Nigeria 73
Another easy win for Argentina in the 9-16 games. Nigeria will still
play for the 9-12 spots. Muruaga nailed 19 pts, and Sandes had 16 pts
and 13 rebounds. Usman led Nigeria with 21 pts. Group 8
Venezuela 71 - Angola 62
Venezuela wins again, for the 3rd time, in Group H. Angola lose for the
3rd time in a row and will compete for the 13-16 spots. Marriaga had 15
pts and 9 rbs, Palacios added 19 and 9 rebounds himself. Dos Santos
nailed 17 for the losing team.
Korea 101 - China 72
In the match up of the teams from the Far East Korea had the upper hand
already after one quarter (22-8) and the lead just kept growing. Ha
finally had impressive numbers with 21 pts, in 9/12 from the field, 14
rebounds and 3 blocks. Lee nailed 20 pts including 6/9 from three. Yi
replied with 21 pts and 11 rebounds for China.
Phew! What a day! After lots
of one-sided games in the first phase and 2 of them in the first day of
the QF groups we had 3.5 great games tonight in the QFs including one
with a double-overtime between the 2 finalists of the last European
Championship for Juniors. Greece seems like the top candidate for the
gold and if the hosting team won't make it at least to the finals it
will be a huge surprise. In 5 games only one team managed to score more
than 65 points against the Greeks, and that team lost by 20 pts as well
(the smallest win of the Greece Juniors…).
Quarter Final Groups
Group 5 USA 87 - Lithuania 84
The two winners of the first day met for a big fight. The Lithuanians
played very aggressive in the first quarter and kinda shocked the
Americans, who soon were trailing by 13 points and more. Daniel Brown
closed the gap for the Americans in the 2nd quarter and until the end
both teams were close to each other. Jankunas in a great 3rd quarter and
Kleiza in a great 4th kept them in the game versus an amazing show by
Brown. In the last 2 minutes he scored 3 times from behind the arc and
by himself put the Americans on a 6 point lead. Lithuania cut the lead
by half and had the final ball, but missed the last shot from 3 and lost
87-84. Jankunas had 22 points and 13 rebounds, Kleiza made 28 points
while Brown finished with great numbers. 47 points, 9/14 for 2, 9/15 for
3, 6 as and 6 steals.
Australia 83 - Puerto Rico 82
Puerto Rico was so close, but lost for the 2nd time in a row in the QF
group. A big comeback of PR in the last minutes gave them the last ball
with one point down, but Australia forced a jump-ball with 2 seconds to
go, and PR failed to connect the final attempt. Bogut had another
double-double with 18 pts and 12 rebounds. Ramos, the giant of PR, had a
good performance with 22 pts, 9/14 from the field and 14 rebounds while
Barea was sweet as honey once again with 25 points, 8 assists and 5
Croatia 113 - Slovenia 103 Double OT
The two finalists of the European Championship of last season met again
for another big drama. It took 50 minutes but once again Croatia had the
upper hand. A great three point shot by Pasalic with 8 seconds to go in
regulation finished a big Croatian comeback for an 86-86 tie. Slovenia
failed to score in the last seconds and the game went to overtime.
Croatia opened with a 7-0 run, Slovenia tied and the last ball was in
Ukic hands. The Croatian PG took a mid-range shot for the win, but like
most of his shots in the paint it went out. 97-97. In the 2nd overtime
Croatia got a payback from Ukic with a huge 8 meters 3 pointer that left
Slovenia with another loss. Ukic had 36 pts, 6 as and 8 rebounds but
check out his field goal numbers. 1/13 for 2, 7/12 for 3. Pasalic scored
30, pulled down 22 rebounds and blocked 2 shots. For the Slovenians E.
Lorbek scored 37 points, added 13 rebounds and blocked twice, Zagorac
scored 18 while Mocnik had 21 pts and 6 assists.
Greece 79 - Turkey 58
Greece is just too damn strong for the other teams here. It's not the
fact they didn't lose any game so far, it's the fact their smallest win
was by 20 pts, and most of them were against 1-8 teams (PR, Slovenia &
Turkey). The Turks gave a good fight for about one quarter and a half,
until Schortsanitis and his gang took off for a 40-27 lead at half time.
The 2nd half was pure garbage time. Greece is going strong for the gold.
Schortsanitis nailed 21 pts and added 15 rebounds for Greece, while
Vassilopoulos gave his best game so far with 18 pts and 11 rbs. Costas
Vassiliadis added 15 in a bad shooting day - 4/19 FG. Astor was stopped
on 13 pts for Turkey in 5/15 from the filed. No other Turkish player
scored in double-digits.
Argentina 94 - Iran 62
Another win by a big margin for Argentina in the 9-16 games, this time
by 32 points over Iran. Rouzbahani nailed 15 pts in 5/5 from the field,
added 9 rebounds and 3 blocks for Iran. Rodriguez led Argentina with 18
pts, while Alloatti nailed 14 and added 9 rebounds.
Nigeria 96 - Malaysia 64
Another big defeat for Malaysia, that just wishes for the games to be
over. Churchill Odia had 21 pts for Nigeria while Ugboaja had 16 and 14
Group 8 Korea 101 - Angola 78
Korea got its first win in the 9-16 games over Angola. 101-78 was the
final score. Barros Rosa had 30 points for Angola with 13 shots from the
perimeter. Kwang Lee scored 37 for Korea with 9/11 for 2 and 5/10 for 3
while the giant Ha had 10 pts and 8 rebounds.
Venezuela 76 - China 58
Venezuela won for the 2nd time this time over China, 76-58. Yi of China
had 11 pts and 13 rebounds. Marriaga had 23 pts and 10 rebounds for the
and USA rule the games - Jul 14, 2003 - by
The first day of the QF games delivered one and a half
surprise, and 2 big defeats. Greece and the USA continue to dominate
while Turkey surprised the European Champion Croatia, and Australia lost
Quarter Finals Groups Group 6 Greece 81 - Slovenia 51 Greece continues to route whoever stand in its way to the gold,
only this time it wasn't anyone like Iran but one of the best teams in
this championship - Slovenia. Erazem Lorbek? Sofoklis Schortsanitis made
sure no one will have any doubt who's the most dominate player in the
games. Half way through the first quarter the Slovenian coach needed to
look for another body to try to stop Baby Shaq. No one was able to do
that. Greece decided the game already in the first half. Schortsanitis
finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds with only 2 misses from the
field (9/11). Vassiliadis added 15 points. Erazem Lorbek was the only
player in Slovenia in double digits, and he had no more than 13 points
and 7 rebounds. None of the other players in Slovenia passed the 6 point
Turkey 87 - Croatia 78 Everyone expected an easy win for Croatia, but the team from
Turkey made a big surprise. After 3 quarters of a close game Turkey took
off and left Croatia behind. Atsor was unstoppable and made Ukic foul
out toward the end. Atsor finished with 41 points in 15/24 from the
field. Daloglu had 14 and Kutruza 12. For Croatia Tomas nailed 18,
Pasalic added 17 and 11 rebounds while Ukic had 11 and 5 rebounds.
Group 5 Lithuania 96 - Australia 87
Easy win for Lithuania in the QF phase opener. A huge first half by
Lithuania decided the game, and covered for a very weak 2nd half. The
Aussies were down by 20+ during the 2nd quarter, but managed to cut the
margin to no more than 6 with only a few minutes to play with the help
of a very effective full court press defense. Lithuania, what else,
nailed some 3 pointers in the last minutes to make sure the win will
stay on their side. Marius Prekevicius did a great job with 25 points, 7
rebounds and a some sweet 3 point shots. Linas Kleiza led with 30 points
and 7 rebounds. Markovic was the leading scorer of Australia with 20
while Andrew Bogut was stopped by the Lith defense on 16 points and 8
USA 106 - Puerto Rico 72 The USA opens the QF with an easy win as well, only they made
it easy all the way. Puerto Rico wasn't a real opponent for the majority
of the game, and finished the game with 34 points less than the USA.
Jose Barea was sweeter than chocolate in the PG of Puerto Rico and he
finished with 35 points in 13/22 from the field and 4 assists. De'Angelo
Alexander led the Americans with 23 points and 9 rebounds, while Daniel
Brown added 17 and Maurice Ager had 15.
9-16 Games Group 7 Nigeria 78 - Iran 53 An easy win for Nigeria in the opener. Iran got 4 pts, 6
rebounds and 6 blocks from the giant Rouzbahani, but lost 78-53.
Churchill Odia nailed 19 for the winners.
Argentina 105 - Malaysia 38 Another big loss for the weakest team in the games. Malaysia
scored only 2 points in the 3rd quarter and helped Argentina take some
aggression out on the way to a 67 point win. Jose Muruaga and Carlos
Sandes had 15 points each for Argentina. Alloatti and Ingrata added 12 a
piece. The leading scorer of the Malaysian team was Tun Kaw Ang with…7
Group 8 Venezuela 104 - Korea 84 Without the giant Ha that played for no more than 5 minutes
Korea didn't have much to offer other than 3 pointers. So Young Lee took
20 of them and somehow finished with 20 points, and Sul Kim added 21
points with 5/7 from 3. Against Venezuela it was enough for no more than
a 19 point loss, 103-84. Miguel Marriaga shined once again with 32
points and 12 rebounds.
China 87 - Angola 64 An easy win for China in the opening day of the 9-16 games.
87-64 over Angola. Jianlian Yi was once again the big star with 25
points, 7/10 from the field and…18 rebounds. And he's only 16 years
old…Tang, the Chinese center, had a good game too with 20 points and 7
rebounds. Barros Rosa had 23 points for Angola.
Finals are set
The first phase is over. Tomorrow is a rest day but on
Monday the 16 teams will open the 1-8 games and the 9-16 games. USA,
Australia, Croatia and Greece finished the first phase with a perfect
3-0 record. The top 8 will play in 2 groups of 4 each. In group 5
Australia, USA, Puerto Rico and Lithuania will fight for the top 2 spots
that lead to the Semi Finals. In Group 6 we will have 4 European teams
Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Turkey that made it to the elite 8 in the
last minute. In Group 7 Argentina will try to fix the disappointing
display so far against Iran, Nigeria and Malaysia while in group 8 Korea
will face Angola, China and Venezuela.
Turkey 71 - Argentina 65 The two teams fought for the last spot in the QF. The teams
knew the loser will be crowned as "The Most Disappointing Team in the
Games”, and Argentina had the unlucky honor to win this title and will
play for the 9-16 places. Turkey made it to the QF with a 71-65 win, but
didn't display good basketball so far. Engin Atsor was held on no more
than 2 points tonight, but Turkey had Murat Kaya with 15 points and
Halil Kutruza (193-G-84) with 16 points to save the game.
Valentin Pastal (204-C/F-84) woke up in a way and finished with 12
points and 10 rebounds. Argentina too suffered from a very weak game by
its star - Alejandro Alloatti who scored only 2 points as well. Ernesto
Zago and Jose Muragua scored 19 points each.
Turkey: Kutruza 16, Kaya 15, Pastal 12, Daloglu 10, Topaloglu 6, Saygin
4, Goktug 4, Koroglu 2, Atsur 2
Argentina: Muragua 19, Zago 19, Rodriguez 9, Treise 5, Ingrata 4,
Weigand 3, Alloatti 2, Figueroa 2, Sandes 2 Australia 124 - Korea 95
Easy win for Australia that finish the first round
with a perfect record. Bugot had 33 pts, 25 rebounds and 5 assists and
said after the game he would like to be like Toni Kukoc.
Australia: Bogut 33, Bruce 15, Robbins 13, Janev 12, Harris 10, Newley
8, Carter 7, Martin 7, Markovic 6, Selwood 6, Knight 4, Maric 3
Korea: K.Lee 26, Yang 13, T.Kim 12, Yim 11, Cha 9, Jung 8, Y.Lee 6, Ha
4, Chung 2, Yun 2, Ham 2
Puerto Rico 85 - Angola 71 PR is in the QF after an easy win over Angola.
Jose Juan Barea (180-G-84, college:
Northeastern), the short fast PG of PR, was once again the star of
the team this time with 28 points and 6 assists.
Jesus Verdejo (F/G-) had 9 points but not a single three pointer
Angola displayed 21 points by Barros Rosa.
Puerto Rico: Barea 28, Ramos 10, Vassalo 10, Verdejo 9, Orta 9, Vega 7,
Orozco 5, Colon 4, Sanchez 2, Rosas 1
Angola: Rosa 21, Mieze 14, J.Dos Santos 13, M.Dos Santos 12, Da Silva 6,
Greece 103 - Iran 56
The Iranians gave a good fight for one quarter and a half, but were down
by 9 at half time, 45-36, but in the 3rd quarter Greece was much more
aggressive on defense and left Iran behind, on the way to a perfect 3-0
record in the first round. Vassiliadis nailed 28 points and added 10
rebounds, Perperoglou added 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals while
Schortsanitis was out of focus today and finished with only 4 points, 10
rebounds and 3 blocks. The Iranian giant, Rouzbahani, showed some good
moves but also a very confused game and finished with 8 points, 5
rebounds and 3 blocks.
Greece: Vassiliadis 28, Perperoglou 20, Sakota 14, Theos 14, Koupidis
12, Sourlis 8, Schortsanitis 4, Vougioukas 3
Iran: Zamani 16, Forooghi 11, Amini 9, Rouzbahani 8, Monavari 3,
Sahakian 3, Faridani 2, Bagheri 2, Baheran 2
USA 88 - Nigeria 69 The Americans finish the first group with a perfect record
after another easy win. This time over Nigeria.
DeAngelo Alexander (193-G-) nailed 13 points and
C.J. Watson (186-G-84) added 12 for the winners. Solomon Tat
connected 18 for the losing team.
DeAngelo Alexander (193-G-) 13, Watson 12, Ager 10, D.Brown 9,
Williams 9, Hollins 8, P.Davis 6, Pittsnogle 6, Burgess 6, Shakur 5,
Nigeria: Tat 18, Odia 15, Soroye 9, Ugboaja 7, Echefu 6, Ibikunle 5,
Usman 4, Ejike 3, Alayande 2
Slovenia 87 - China 78 Slovenia made it to the QF after an easy win over China.
Slovenia took a double digit lead in the first half and surfed to a 9
point win although the Chinese team made a comeback to minus 6 with 30"
to go. Sasa Zagorac with 23 points and
Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84) with 20 points and 8 rebounds dominated
the paint but the best player in this game was the Chinese prospect
Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) that had 29 points in 13/21 from the field,
12 rebounds and 3 blocks. And he's only 16….
Slovenia: Zagorac 23, E.Lorbek 20, Mocnik 13, Mali 8, Smigic 6, Fon 6,
D.Lorbek 4, Rizvic 4, Urbanc 3
China: Yi 29, Zhao 20, Tang 12, Wang 8, Hu 4, Chen 3, Q.Zhang 2
Croatia 110 - Malaysia 65 After 2 close games Croatia finally got it right, but against
the weakest team in the championship it's not much of a problem. 30-13
already at the end of the first quarter and from there it was an easy
ride to a 45 point win. Roko-Leni Ukic broke the basket board with a
dunk attempt in the last quarter. First time in Ukic career but 3rd time
in the Evosmos court in this championship. Ukic had 22 points, 7 steals
and 6 assists, Kedzo finally connected with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5
steals and Omerhodzic expressed himself with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Croatia: Ukic 22, Kedzo 19, Omerhodzic 18, Pasalic 15, Novacic 7, Peric
6, Tomas 6, Filipovic 4, Kralj 2
Malaysia: Chan 12, Phang 10, Sarjeet 10, Soo 8, Ahmad 7, J.Cheong 7, Koo
6, Y.Cheong 3, Ang 2
Lithuania 108 - Venezuela 60 The Liths had to win to qualify to the QF and had a very easy
job, leading 31-11 already after 1 quarter.
Linas Kleiza (203-F-85) had an easy job with 26 points and 9
rebounds, Mazeika nailed 28 points, and Jankunas finished with 12 points
and 7 boards. Marriaga, the star of the team from Venezuela, was stopped
on 9 pts and 6 rebounds.
Lithuania: Maceina 28, Kleiza 26, Jankunas 12, Prekevicius 12,
Babrauskas 9, Dabkus 8, Silinskis 4, Jomantas 3, Maciulis 2, Joneliunas
2, Lekavicius 2
Venezuela: Palacios 10, Marriaga 9, Santos 9, Centeno 7, Parra 6,
Urdaneta 6, Quintero 6, Cedeno 5, J.Urbina 2
Day 2 did not bring too many surprises. However Korea
gave lots of troubles to favorite Turkey and Venezuela almost beat one
of the tournament gold medal candidate - Crostia. Both Turkey and
Croatia won their games, but just only by 1 point. All Asian teams lots
their games, while Lithuania almost killed Malaysia (definitely the
weakest team at the event) beating them by ...68 points. In other
interesting games, USA beat easily China 109-84, Strong Australia did
not give too much chance to Argentina (75-57). Greece, Puerto Rico and
Slovenia got easy victories.
Australia - Argentina 75-57
Andrew Bogut (206-F/C-85) 25, Markovic 11, Bruce 10, Knight 8, Janev
6, Martin 5, Carter 3, Newley 3, Maric 2, Harris 1, Robbins 1, Selwood
Argentina: Alloatti 14, Muragua 11, Sandes 8, Fioretti 6, Rodriguez 5,
Mainoldi 4, Treise 3, Figueroa 2, Ingrata 2, Chami 2, Zago Korea - Turkey 80-81
Korea: Lee Y. 25, Yang 20, Ha 15, Lee K. 10, Yim 6, Kim 4, Yun, Ham, Cha
Murat Ali Kaya (204-F-84) 20, Atsur 15, Topaloglu 12, Kutruza 11,
Daloglu 9, Postal 8, Goktug 4, Koroglu 2, Demirel, Kacaniku
Angola - Greece 65-87
Angola: Rosa Barros 31, Dos Santos J. 11, Mieze Mbunga 8, Dos Santos M.
7, Alcantara 4, Da Silva 4, Mayzer, Joao Maria, Wilson
Costas Vasiliadis (200-G/F-84) 23, Schortsanitis 21, Perperoglou 10,
Koupidos 8, Theos 7, Mavrokefalidis 5, Sakota 3, Vougioukas 3,
Vasilopoulos 2, Xanthopoulos 2, Sourlis 2, Apostolidis 1
Puerto Rico - Iran 92-66
Puerto Rico: Barea 19, Verdejo 13, Ramos 12, Vega 10, Orta 9, Orozco 9,
Vassalo 5, Sanchez 5, Rosas 4, Hernandez 4, Colon 2, Lopez
Iran: Amini 20, Rouzbahani 12, Sahakian 11, Bagheri 10, Zamani 9,
Faridani 3, Baheran 1, Amel
USA - China 109-84
USA: Williams 23, P.Davis 20, Alexander 20, Ager 14,
Hollins 8, D.Brown 7, Pittsnogle 7, Watson 4, G.Brown 4, Bourgess 2,
China: Wang 18, Yi 16, Meng 16, Zhao 14, Tang 10, Hu 7, Q.Zhang 3,
Nigeria - Slovenia 65-102
Nigeria: Tat 21, Odia 12, Soroye 10, Usman 8, Ugboaja 6, Ejike 5,
Ibikunle 3, Alayande, Gumut, Adepoju, Ogunsola, Echefu
Jure Mocnik (190-G-85) 18, E.Lorbek 16, D.Lorbek 16, Zagorac 16, Fon
12, Kosir 9, Smigic 9, Urbanc 4, Rizvic 2, Bajramlic, Mali, Sebic
Malaysia - Lithuania 39-107
Malaysia: Ang 7, Koo 7, Phang 7, Sarjeet 6, Soo 4,
Ahmad 3, Khor 2, Ng 2, Lai 1, Y.Cheong, J.Cheong, Chan
Linas Kleiza (203-F-85) 28, babrauskas 14, Jankunas 11, Maciulis 10,
Joneliunas 9, Peciukaitis 8, Jomantas 7, Lekavicius 7, Prekevicius 5,
Maceina 4, Dabkus 2, Silinskis 2
Croatia - Venezuela 75-74
Marko Banic (204-F-84) 16, Tomas 14, Ukic 13, Kralj 10, Pasalic 8,
Peric 7, Kedzo 7, Filipovic
Venezuela: Palacios 20, Cedeno 15, Marriaga 14, Urdaneta 7, Santos 4,
Urbina Evias 3, Adrian 1, Quintero, Urbina Bolivar
Australia 80 - Turkey 74
A big and important win for Australia over Turkey. The Aussies took the
lead early in the game, and climbed to a 13 point lead at half time.
Pastal had a disappointing performance, so Atsur took over and led a
small comeback by the Turks with his 37 points. Andrew Bogut had one of
the best individual performances of the first day with 23 points in
66%FG and 20 rebounds as Australia won it nice and clean.
Australia (25+20+19+16): Bogut 22 - 10/15 FG + 20 rbs, Knight 16, Carter
13, Markovic 12, Bruce 5, Janev 5, Martin 4, Robbins 2, Maric 1
Turkey (17+15+21+21): Atsur 37 - 13/29 FG + 7 to, Pastal 9 - 3/9 FG + 12
rbs, Kaya 9, Kutruza 9, Topaloglou 6, Goktug 3, Koroglu 1
Argentina 87 - Korea 67
It took Argentina 3 quarters to open a gap from Korea. Ha, the sensation
of Korea, finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds and
will be followed closely in the next days as well. Alejander Alloatti
dominated for Argentina with 22 points and 14 rebounds as the South
Americans took off in the 4th to a 20 point win.
Argentina (18+14+20+25): Alloatti 22, Figueroa 12, Treise 12, Fiorretti
12, Ingrata 9, Sandes 7, Mainoldi 6, Chami 5, Muragua 2
Korea (17+17+18+11): Ha 16 + 10 rbs, Yang 14, Lee 11, Kim 10, Cha 6, Lee
5, Yim 5
Greece 103 - Puerto Rico 80
The game started with a battle of power in the paint between
Sofocles Schortsianitis (206-F-85) and the 220 Ramos of PR.
Sofocles Schortsianitis (206-F-85) had the upper hand but PR had
Jesus Verdejo, a great shooter that connected 23 points in the first
half. Early in the 2nd quarter
Sofocles Schortsianitis (206-F-85) broke the board of the basket and
the game was renewed after about 20 minutes. Greek had 17 points of
Perperoglou as the first half ended with a 45-45 tie. Then came the 3rd
quarter and Costas Vassiliadis. The Greek shooter made 19 points in the
3rd and led his team to a double digit lead. Barea, a small fast PG,
covered for Verdejo that was stopped in PR, and the 3rd finished with
Greece leading 72-63. Greece continued to pressure and forced a lot of
turnovers on the visiting team. The fast breaks that finished with great
dunks, including a steal and dunk move by "Baby Shaq", woke the fans,
and Greece cruised for its first win in the championship.
Greece (25+20+27+31): Vassiliadis 32,
Sofocles Schortsianitis (206-F-85) 26 + 14 rbs, Perperoglou 22.
Vassilopoulos 15, Sakota 4, Sourlis 2, Theos 1, Mavrokefalidis 1
Puerto Rico (23+22+18+20): Barea 27, Verdejo 27, Ramos 8 + 8 rbs, Orozco
7, Rosas 5, Vassalo 4, Sanchez 3, Vega 2
Angola 74 - Iran 50
Easy win for Angola in the opening day. Iran had the upper hand in the
first half, but went to sleep in the second and was outscored 50-17.
Jose Santos shot from 3 like there's no tomorrow but made 8 of his 18
shots from behind the arc, and kept Iran from behind. The Iranian giant
Rouzbahani had 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Angola (13+11+18+32): Santos 26, Barros 17, Neto 10, Divaldo 7, Domingos
7, Carlos 4, Maria 2, Maizer 1
Iran (17+16+9+8): Monavari 11, Rouzbahani 10 + 7 rbs, Zamani 10,
Sahakian 7, Amini 4, Foroghi 3, Mohammadpoor 2, Bagheri 2, Beheshti 1
USA 84 - Slovenia 83
What an exciting game! Slovenia with Erazem Lorbek that was once again
unstoppable dominated the first quarter and led by 10 after 10 minutes.
The Americans made a come back and finished the 1st half trailing by 1,
43-44. The USA had Daniel Brown, who scored 3 of his 4 three pointers in
the last 6 minutes, and with 30" to go hit the winning shot. Slovenia
had two more chances but Smigic and Domen Lorbek couldn't connect it.
USA (18+25+21+20): Davis 24 + 14 rbs, Brown 20, Alexander 11, Watson 9,
Shakur 8, Williams 5, Hollins 4, Pittsnogle 3
Slovenia (28+16+15+24): Lorbek E. 28, Smigic 16 + 11 rbs, Zagorac 16,
Mocnik 13, Rizvic 8, Lorbek D. 2
China 69 - Nigeria 92
A big surprise on the first day. China opened strong as expected and led
by 11 at the end of the first quarter, but a huge drought in the 2nd
quarter, in which the Chinese scored only 4 points, allowed Nigeria to
take a 33-37 lead at half time. In the 2nd half there was only one team
on the floor. Churchill Odia and Nurudeen Adepoju led Angold to a huge
win by 23 points over China. Nigeria enjoyed a good team work in
rebounding and pulled 27 rebounds on offense. Yi, the young giant of
Chinese showed a lot of good moves and finished with a double-double but
China is in big trouble now.
China (29+4+16+20):Yi 24 + 12 rbs, Tang 17, Meng 10, Zhao 9, Zhang Z. 6,
Zhang Q. 3
Nigeria (18+19+26+29): Odia 21, Adepoju 18, Tat 16, Ugboaja 10, Usman 9,
Ibikunle 6, Echefu 6, Ogunsola 2, Ejike 2, Gumut 2
Croatia 73 - Lithuania 69
The game was postponed by 30 minutes because one of the boards broke
during the warm up, but once the game began, it was one big party.
Croatia presented the players of Split Roko-Leni Ukic with great work at
the PG position and Drago Pasalic under the boards (20 points and 22
rebounds!). Lithuania however put its trust in the hands of Linad
Kleiza, that play in the US, and here he showed what he learned over
there with 26 points, 13 rebounds and some very efficient moves in the
paint. Paulius Jankunas was his helping hand in the paint, but that
wasn't enough for a win. Croatia's boys were more experienced than the
Lithuanians and it showed in the last minutes.
Croatia (18+17+14+20): Ukic 20, Pasalic 20 + 22 rbs, Kralj 9, Tomas 8,
Banic 7, Kastropil 4, Omerhodzic 3, Kedzo 2
Lithuania (16+22+17+18): Kleiza 26 + 13 rbs, Jankunas 15 + 12 rbs,
Silinskis 9 + 11 rbs, Lekavicius 8, Mazeika 3, Jomantas 3, Dabkus 2,
Prekevicius 2, Maciulis 1
Venezuela 88 - Malaysia 60
It took one quarter for Venezuela to take off and escape from Malaysia.
Urdaneta and Marriaga, very nice player that was picked as MVP of the
Pan American championship, combined 42 points, and easily beat the game
Venezuela (16+36+20+16): Urdaneta 27, Marriaga 15 + 13 rbs, Centeno 14,
Santos 11, Adrian 9, Centeno 4, Quintero 4, Palacios 2, Urbina 2
Malaysia (12+22+11+15): Cheong 18, Phang 8, Koo 7, Ng 7, Lai 5, Soo 5,
Chan 5, Cheong 3, Khor 1, Ang 1
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