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FIBA World Cup 2019: Nick Fazekas scores 31 in Japan’s 111-81 loss to New Zealand, Team USA and Czech Republic win!

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No Rui Hachimura, but the Japanese still put forth a strong effort. The USA and the Czech Republic also won their second round games however.

New Zealand v Japan: Group O - FIBA World Cup 2019
Nick Fazekas led the Japanese and had a strong performance. But it was not enough against New Zealand.
Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images

The Japanese men’s national basketball team lost to New Zealand, 111-81 on Saturday morning in Dongguan, China in a FIBA World Cup consolation game.

Rui Hachimura was shut down for the rest of the tournament due to precautionary rest in a joint statement he released with the Japanese basketball federation. This allowed Nick Fazekas, a 2007 NBA second round draft pick free reign to score. He led the Japanese with 31 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. And he even shot 5-of-7 from the three point line.

Besides Fazekas, there isn’t much to say about Japan other than the fact that they were just outmatched from start to finish. Japan did finish the first quarter with a 29-all tie but it was just another bad loss from there. Corey Webster scored 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting while Issac Fotu added 23 more for the Tall Blacks.

Japan will finish their World Cup journey with a consolation match against Montenegro on Monday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 a.m. ET.


How about the USA?

The United States men’s national basketball team usually has the best player on the court in an international competition. But going forward in the second roud, the Americans would be playing teams with better individual talents. I mean, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the world since he’s the NBA MVP.

Fortunately, depth is what kept the Americans head of the Greeks in a 69-53 win. Antetokounmpo was limited to 15 points and 13 rebounds and the Greeks shot just 31.8 percent from the floor. Kemba Walker led Team USA with 16 points in a game where America also didn’t shoot well at 36.4 percent. But again, the Americans have depth. Still, we shall see if that’s enough as we get to the quarterfinals.

The Americans will face off against Brazil on Monday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m. ET in their last game of Group K play.

And let’s give a shout out to Tomas Satoransky and the Czech Republic!

The Wizards alum scored 20 points, dished 9 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds in a dominating 93-71 win over Brazil in the Czech Republic’s second round match. Watch his highlights above!

The Czechs shot a torrid 56.2 percent from the field to cruise their way in the game and get a potential berth to the quarterfinals, assuming they can keep beat Greece, or at least lose by less than 11 points due to tiebreaker rules on point differentials and total points scored.

The game’s on Monday, Sept. 9 at 4:30 a.m. ET!