The group phase of the Men's Basketball World Cup came to an end on Wednesday with the elimination of South Sudan, Cape Verde and Côte d'Ivoire, who follow Angola and Egypt in the classification matches. However, three Africans shone: Dut Jok Kacuolt (21 pts), Cédric Bah (13 pts, 13 rbds) and Betinho Gomes (17 pts). They tried to keep their country alive. Ioannis Papapetrou (27 pts, 6 rbds), (27 pts, 5 rbds, 8 assists), Bogdan Bogdanović (23 pts, 2 rbds, 9 assists) and Anthony Edwards (22 pts, 8 rbds, 4 assists) distinguished themselves.
Jok Kacuo'Sl late awakening...
South Sudan is eliminated from the World Cup after losing to Serbia (115-83). 29-year-old South Sudanese guard Dut Jok Kacuol had his best game ever (21 pts, 2 rbds, 3 assists, 2 steals, +21 rating). For the 1st time, he surpassed the 20-pt mark. He scored 13 against Puerto Rico and 6 against China. Jok Kacuol scored 40 pts in 3 games, an average of 13.3 pts per game.
MVP of the 3rd edition of the BAL, Nuni Omot finished the match with 17 pts and 5 rbds for a +20 rating. The Al Ahly player averaged 12.5 pts, 2.5 rbds and 2 assists per game. South Sudan may have regrets for losing to Puerto Rico on Matchday 1. Serbian wing-back Bogdan Bogdanović (23 pts, 2 rbds, 9 assists) was the South Sudanese's tormentor.
Bah and Gomes weren't enough
Côte d'Ivoire blew their chance against Brazil (77-89). The African vice-champions are eliminated. Yet Cedric Bah tried to carry the team. He recorded a double-double (13 pts, 13 rbds, +23 rating). Playing in post 5 (pivot), Cédric Bah was the 2021 silver medalist in Kigali. The oldest member of the team, Souleyman Diabaté (12 pts, 3 rbds, 3 assists) played his part. But Brazil relied on Yago Santos (24 pts, 12 rbds, +37 rating).
Africa will have no representative in the second round of the World Cup.Cape Verde lost to Slovenia (92-77). Betinho Gomes (17 pts) was the only Cape Verdean on the court. The 38-year-old winger couldn't prevent the defeat. Luka Dončić (19 pts) and Klemen Prepelič (18 pts) gave Slovenia their 3rd win in a row.
Papapetrou, the Greek god
Georgia booked their place in the second round by beating Venezuela (70-59), thanks to a double-double from Goga Bitadze (11 pts, 11 rbds). Venezuelan winger Nestor Colmenares was also on target (16 pts, 12 rbds).
The USA finish top of Group C. The Americans crushed Jordan (110-62) with an excellent Anthony Edwards (22 pts, 8 rbds, 4 assists).
Puerto Rico qualified for the second round after beating China (107-89).Tremont Waters (22 pts, 3 rbds, 6 assists) was the man of the match. The Puerto Rican point guard had a score of +29.
Greece can thank Ioannis Papapetrou.The strong winger put in (27 pts) and took 6 rebounds against New Zealand, led by Shea Ili (27 pts, 5 rbds, 8 assists). Reigning world champions Spain finished top of Group G. The Spaniards dominated Iran (85-65) with the contribution of Juan Hernangomez (21 pts, 5 rbds, 3 assists).
The complete 2nd round table
At the end of this 3rd day, we know all the teams qualified for the second round. They are the Dominican Republic, Italy, Serbia, Puerto Rico, the United States, Greece, Lithuania, Montenegro, Germany, Australia, Slovenia, Georgia, Spain, Brazil, Canada and Latvia.
The 16 teams are divided into four groups I, J, K and L. Group I features Serbia, the Dominican Republic, Italy and Puerto Rico. The USA, Lithuania, Montenegro and Greece are in Group J. Group K features Slovenia, Germany, Australia and Georgia. Group I features Canada, Spain, Brazil and Latvia.The top two teams in each group qualify for the quarter-finals. The second round kicks off this Friday, September 1.