So Wednesday wasn’t a good day for the two primary teams I was interested in, whether it’s the Czech Republic men’s national basketball team because of Wizards alum Tomas Satoransky or the United States’ because that’s where I’m from.
The Czech Republic’s run comes to an end
The Czechs lost to Australia, 82-70 on Wednesday morning in Shanghai. Patty Mills led the Boomers with 24 points and shote 6-of-9 from the three-point line. The Czechs actually shot better than Australia. However, they committed 16 turnovers, five from Satoransky, which played a role flipping the script here.
Satoransky still had a strong game, scoring 13 points, dishing 13 assists and grabbing 9 rebounds. He is one of the World Cup’s best all-around players with his near triple-doubles each game. Unfortunately, he will play in a consolation bracket to end the tournament.
Team USA loses to France, 89-79
The Americans were looking to win their third straight World Cup, but they will leave medal-less instead after losing to France.
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert was an offensive force for the French, scoring 21 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.
The Americans were in a back-and-forth affair with the French and led by three to start the fourth quarter, but that’s when the French defense stepped up. They went 26-13 against Team USA to punch their tickets to the semifinals.
Donovan Mitchell led the Americans with 29 points.
Team USA and Czech Republic now head to the consolation bracket for fifth place. On the surface, these games sound like they don’t matter. You’d be mistaken. In general, teams are vying to either qualify for the Olympics outright by placing higher than any other teams in their zones.
The four remaining teams in the World Cup are France of FIBA Europe, Australia of FIBA Asia, Argentina of FIBA Americas and Spain of FIBA Europe. The top two FIBA Europe and FIBA Americas teams will make the Olympics outright. Based on the brackets, France and Spain are in the Olympics for Europe. Argentina is the best team from the Americas.
Team USA is fortunately second place from FIBA Americas so they’re in the Olympics by default. However, they can still use every FIBA point they can get by finishing fifth. Their next game is against Serbia at 7 a.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Team Czech Republic will qualify for the Olympic qualifying tournament but is still playing for seeding. Their next game is on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. ET when they face off Poland, their northern neighbors.