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FIBA World Cup 2019: Czech Republic, USA advance to quarterfinals, Japan finishes winless

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With Rui Hachimura no longer playing in the World Cup, we focus on Wizards alum Tomas Satoransky who is leading the Czechs to new heights.

Czech Rep v Greece: Group K - FIBA World Cup 2019
Tomas Satoransky and the Czech Republic will play in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals. It’s the first in the country’s history!
Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The Czech Republic men’s national basketball team doesn’t have any current Wizards. But many fans, including me have a soft spot for Tomas Satoransky who played three years in Washington.

Regardless of how you feel about his style of play while he was in Washington, the bottom line is that he fits in very well with many types of offenses and as the face of the Czech team.

On Monday in Shenzhen, China, the Czechs lost to Greece, 84-77 in Group K play. But the scoring margin was small enough to send Satoransky and his national team to the quarterfinals for the first time in national history as the Czech Republic, not as the former Czechoslovakia.

Satoransky scored 13 points, dished 9 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds in the game. Jaromir Bohacik led their scorers with 25 points. For Greece, NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo only scored 12 points and was limited due to foul trouble. Nick Calathes scored 27 for the Greeks in their win that wasn’t enough.

I’m really happy to see Satoransky playing at a very high level in the World Cup and you should be too! World tournaments often have a team or two that defy the odds. We saw that last year in the FIBA Women’s World Cup when Belgium made the semifinals as a Cinderella. Maybe, just maybe, the Czechs could be the Cinderellas on the men’s side.

Team USA cruises to 89-73 win over Brazil

Myles Turner scored 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the United States to a comfortable 89-73 win over Brazil and advance to the quarterfinals. The Americans also held the Brazilians to just 12 total assists to make ball movement difficult for them. Vitor Benite led Brazil with 21 points.

Yuta Watanabe scores 34 in Japan’s 60-85 loss to Montenegro

The Japan men’s national basketball team lost 80-65 to Montenegro in Dongguan. Like most of their games, the Japanese spotted their opponents with a big lead and could never catch up. Even if Wizards rookie forward Rui Hachimura played, I don’t think they would have won.

Memphis Grizzlies forward Yuta Watanbe scored 34 points in the game and also added 9 rebounds. For Montenegro, Magic forward Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

The Japanese finished the World Cup without a win, but it will be valuable experience before next year’s Olympic Games.