Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’


Day 3 of the second round of the FIBA World Cup in Turkey was somewhat similar to the day before it, with the winners somewhat to be known before even the games began, and the question to be asked was: “By how much?”

Team USA started off Day 10 in style, by disrupting the Angolan offense and scoring 3-pointers in return, creating a 20 point lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to Chauncey Billups and Kevin Durant. All 12 players on Team USA scored, and the deficit just kept on getting bigger and bigger for the Americans, who won the game by a large 55 points, 121-66, bringing back memories of not the 2008 Olympics team that beat Angola by 21, but the 1992 Dream Team that defeated the Angolans by 68 points.  Team USA knocked down an amazing EIGHTEEN 3-pointers, including Billups going 5 for 7, Eric Gordon 5 for 6, and Derrick Rose 3 for 4 and won the last quarter 30-10. Chauncey Billups had 19 points, while Durant, Rudy Gay and Gordon had 17 points apiece. Joaquim Gomez had a game high 21 points for Angola.

Not as one sided as the game preceding it, Russia took on New Zealand to determine who will face Team USA on Thursday. After a slow start by the Russians ( 9-2 New Zealand’s way), they managed to end the first quarter close and went on a 13-0 run, breaking the game wide open with Kirk Penney picking up 3 fouls in the first half and his fourth mid third quarter, for the Russians to set up a rematch of the infamous 1972 Olympics with a 78-56 win. Russia was led by Andrey Vorontsevich’s 18 points and 11 rebounds and got help from NBA rookie  Timofey Mozgov (16 points, 7 rebounds). Despite the horrible foul trouble he got held in, Penney managed to score 21 points for New Zealand.


The 5th day of round robin play in the basketball’s version of the World Cup continued with the great teams making themselves stand out from the rest. Argentina, Lithuania, hosts Turkey, and the USA are expected to top each of their groups, while teams like Canada, Jordan, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast are expected to come out at the bottom.

Team Lebanon played 2006 world champs Spain yesterday in Izmir, and as the game started, the Lebanese team was playing as if they had different players from those that played against France and New Zealand, where behind Jackson Vroman’s play, they managed to come on top in the first quarter by a point. Yet the second quarter started, and the fouls started piling up for the Lebanese, where the calls became so crazy to a point that Vroman blocked Marc Gasol’s shot, and got called a foul and a technical to give him 4 fouls when the game was still mid second quarter. Having been forced to sit out Vroman, Lebanon coach Tab Baldwin had no one else to play defense on the Spanish center, where Gasol managed to score 21 points after only scoring a mere 4, creating problems for the Lebanese team and once again, killing them in the game to give Spain a 91-57 win and improve its chances in qualifying after suffering two surprising setbacks against Lithuania and France. It is to note that the ENTIRE Lebanese team had FIVE assists and TWENTY turnovers. Jackson Vroman led Lebanon with 22 points,  9 rebounds and 2 assists while Marc Gasol had 25 for Spain. Lebanon’s chances for qualifying are very low after New Zealand beat Canada, giving it one more win than Lebanon and making the Lebanese’s last game against Lithuania a must win and for New Zealand to lose by a huge point differential. It would also need a major improvement from its star players Matt Freije, who was scoreless in the loss and Fadi El Khatib, who only had 10 points.

In Group A, perfect Argentina tried to run away from winless Jordan, but managed to do so in the fourth quarter  by winning 88-79. In Group B,  Team USA rolled over Iran in style with an 88-51 win. Group C saw a difficult clash between Turkey and Puerto Rico that saw Turkey rally from behind in the third quarter after a slow start to win its group by defeating the Puerto Ricans 79-77. Group D saw a clash between perfect teams Lithuania and France, where the former team dominated in a 33-12 run that won the Lithuanians the game 69-55.

Other scores:

Serbia 94 – 79 Australia

Angola 92 – 88 Germany

Croatia 84 – 64 Tunisia

Brazil 77 – 80 Slovenia

China 80 – 89 Russia

Ivory Coast 60 – 97 Greece

Canada 61 – 71 New Zealand


4 days on the competition have past, and teams are starting to brighten up while other teams performances are being 180 degrees different from other games. After having a terrfic opener vs Canada, the Cedar Trees suddenly aren’t the same team, as New Zealand was another team to having a shooting perfection night against the Lebanese, handing them their biggest loss so far, diminishing Lebanese hopes of making the second round.

The game took a rough start for the Lebanese, as they were unable to get a shot off while the Tall Blacks came out firing three pointers from everywhere, not looking like the team that lost its first two games earlier in the competition. The Lebanese could never find their groove back in the game, especially with Jackson Vroman catching foul trouble (3 fouls in the first half) and eventually fouling out. Trailing 32 to 16 after the first quarter, the Cedar Trees play never improved, with players such as Matt Freije, who had two great games earlier against Canada and France, had finished with a miserable 4 points on 1 for 7 shooting.  At a point in the game, Elie Rustom commited a double dribble, a fault unacceptable in basketball and only commited by beginners. The game turned out so horrible for the Lebanese, losing 108-76, as it was just the complete opposite for New Zealand, who shot 57% from the floor, mainly due to their star Kirk Penney, who scored 26 points, including 6 3 pointers and Thomas Abercombie had 23 points as well, leading 4 other players in double figures for the Tall Blacks. Fadi El Khatib tried his best for Lebanon, scoring 18 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, but didn’t have the help expected from both Freije and Vroman. Rony Fahed and Jean Abdel Nour had 12 points apiece. Lebanon’s hopes of qualifying depend on them winning one more game, while Canada must beat New Zealand to give the Lebanese one more win than the  former two countries mentioned.

Another disappointing performance came from the defending world champs Spain, who were leading by as much as 18 points through the third quarter. That 18 point lead wouldn’t last for long against the Lithuanians, who stormed back into the game behind Linas Kleiza’s 17 points and was helped by his teammates Martynas Pocius and Jonas Maciulis, who had 13 points apiece to win 76-73. After a great start for Marc Gasol (18 points and 8 rebounds), Lithuania double teamed him, yet his Spanish teammates were unable to take advantage of that, making things easer for Lithuanians to get back into the game. Spain might face Greece in the Round of 16.

Another important clash took place, this time in Group C between the undefeated teams hosts Turkey and Greece for the top spot (most probably). The hosts came up on top from the beginning, riding Ersan Ilyasova’s hot hand to take a lead that would never be relinquished. The Greeks tried bringing the deficit down, but they weren’t able to grasp a lead, giving them their first loss in the tournament 76-65. Ilyasova had a game-high 26  points for Turkey while Bourousis was the only Greek in double figures (15 points).

Other Results:

Russia 72 – 66 Ivory Coast

Puerto Rico 84 – 76 China

France 68 – 63 Canada


The second day of the basketball’s version of the World Cup continued with all teams playing, as Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, Lithuania, Turkey, and the USA are perfect while Canada, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Tunisia are still searching for their first wins.

After outplaying Canada in their first game, Lebanon played France, who delivered an upset to the defending champs Spain a day before. The game was very close at the beginning, with both teams being uable to take control of the first quarter as it ended 22-20 for France. The second quarter was a completely different story, as France jumped on a 12-2 run before the game had to be stopped at the middle of that quarter in order to fix the basket that France’s Nicholas Batum dunked on. After more than 15 minutes of hiatus, the game resumed and Lebanon was held to only 8 points in that quarter, giving France a 42-28 lead at halftime. Jackson Vroman’s efforts in the third quarter weren’t enough to bring Lebanon closer as France’s bigs throughout the game dominated the boards and the inside game, frustrating the Lebanese, in addition to several referee errors that costed Lebanon important breaks to get back into the game, giving France an 86-59 win as both teams will have a bye day and will not play until Tuesday. Jackson Vroman had 19 points for Lebanon, with Matt Freije scoring 9 of his 11 points in the first 5:32 minutes, and Fadi El Khatib’s scoring production going down from the first game to 12 points. Meanwhile, France’s scoring was equally spread among its players, as Mickael Gelabale continued his great start in the tournament, leading France with 18 points, helped by Alain Koffi’s 17, Ian Mahimni’s 14 points and and 9 rebounds and Nando de Colo’s 14 points.

USA continued its strong start as a contender for the title, by defeating Slovenia 99-77 after having another great start for the game and managing to stay in control for the entire game. Yet the game’s score shouldn’t fool the audience, as the Americans believe that they aren’t fully ready yet. When star Kevin Durant was pulled out of the game in the 2nd quarter, the Slovenians managed to climb back in the game until he was reinserted later on. In 22 minutes only, Durant led his team with 22 points, and was helped with Rudy Gay’s 16 points and Kevin Love’s 10 points and 11 rebounds in 13 minutes. Bostjan Nachbar had 13 for Slovenia.

The longest game to yet take place in this World Cup was a double overtime game between Serbia and Germany, where the Germans managed to win their first game, as they are missing Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, 82-81. Germany seemed to be on top for most of the game and even at the end, yet Serbia’s Aleksander Radic knocked down two three pointers in the final seconds to tie the game at 69 and enter OT #1. The first OT was really sloppy and defensive on both sides, as German guard Steffen Hamann scored Germany’s 4 points at the beginning, only to be tied by a 3 pointer and free throw with a minute left, to enter second OT tied at 73. The second overtime was a completely different story for the Germans, who managed to get a good lead and hung on till the final possesion for the first win. Jan-Hendrik Jagla had 22 points for Germany, while Kosta Perovic had 2o for Serbia.

Other results:

Jordan 65 – 79 Angola

Argentina 74 – 72 Australia

Croatia 75 – Iran 54

Brazil 80 – 65 Iran

China 83 – 73 Ivory Coast

Puerto Rico 80 – 83 Greece

Turkey 65 – 56 Russia

Lithuania 70 – 68 Canada

Spain 101 – New Zealand 84