The 2019 FIBA World Cup is over for the Czech Republic and the United States. Let’s take a look at how they did in games early Saturday morning.
Czech Republic finishes in sixth place after 90-81 loss to Serbia
The Czechs advanced further than expected in the World Cup. So it wasn’t that much of a surprise that they fell to a deeper Serbian team in the fifth-place match in Beijing. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 31 points, including going 7-of-12 from the three point line in the win. His performance was quite frankly, exciting to watch. Take a look at his highlights below.
Tomas Satoransky scored 13 points and dished 6 assists for the Czechs. Ondrej Balvin had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Czech Republic will play in next year’s Olympic qualifying tournament because they finished lower than second place among FIBA Europe teams in the World Cup.
USA beats Poland 87-74 in seventh place match
The United States men’s national basketball team finished the World Cup with a solid win to secure seventh place. Donovan Mitchell scored 16 points to lead the Americans in a game that didn’t threaten their Olympic chances. They already clinched an Olympic spot as the second-place team from FIBA Americas.
The Americans decided not to play Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart or Jayson Tatum either since there was little on the line besides FIBA ranking points.
For Poland, Matuesz Ponitka and AJ Slaughter combined for 12 of the Polish’s 22 made three pointers to keep the game manageable. In the third quarter, Poland outscored the USA, 25-16.
Who plays in Sunday’s medal games?
The World Cup concludes tomorrow morning in Beijing. Here is the schedule:
- Bronze Medal Game: France (FIBA Europe) vs. Australia (FIBA Asia) at 4 a.m. ET — Both teams have little to play for when it comes to their Olympic hopes since they punched their berths as the second-place team in Europe and first-place team in Asia, respectively. I expect France to pull out the victory over the Boomers.
- Gold Medal Game: Argentina (FIBA Americas) vs. Spain (FIBA Europe) at 8 a.m. ET — The Argentinians are the last team besides the USA to win an Olympic Gold Medal since 1992 when NBA players were allowed to play back in 2004. This will be their first medal on the world stage since the 2008 Olympics and first in the World Cup since 2002. The Spanish have generally been the best in the world after the USA pretty consistently over the last 10 years. That said, they haven’t medaled in the World Cup since 2006 when they won Gold. Expect the Spanish to get a second gold medal here.