Olympic Qualification

FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament: Recap from Tuesday, June 29

valanciunas-lithuania-ftr.jpeg
Jonas Valanciunas, 2019 FIBA World Cup [Getty Images]

The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments have officially kicked off in Canada, Lithuania, Croatia and Serbia!

As 24 countries fight for the four final spots at the Tokyo Olympics, how did each team fare on Day 1 of the Group Stage?

Group B - Kaunas, Lithuania: Poland 83, Angola 64

Game Summary

Poland got off to a good start in its qualifying bid on Tuesday, downing Angola 83-64. Poland was led by Mateusz Ponitka, who scored a team-high 22 points. Defence was key in the victory as Poland forced Angola into 20 turnovers. Angola's Yanick Moreira led all scorers with 27 points.

Group A - Split, Croatia: Germany 82, Mexico 76

Game Summary

Down 42-40 at halftime, Germany finished strong to hold off Mexico in its opening qualifying game. Center Johannes Voigtmann (from CSKA Moscow) and guard Joshiko Saibou (from Champagne Chalons Reims Basket) powered the win. Voigtmann recorded 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Saibou contributed a team-high 17 points. Mexico's Francisco Cruz led all scores with 30 points on 55 percent shooting.

NBA Player Performances

For Germany, Orlando Magic center Moe Wagner added 11 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes of play. Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga made key free throws down the stretch and finished with a near double- double (13 points, nine rebounds) in 26 minutes.

Group A - Kaunas, Lithuania: Lithuania 76, Venezuela 65

Game Summary

Lithuania started off its Olympic qualifying campaign on Tuesday with a big win at home over Venezuela. Memphis Grizzlies centre Jonas Valanciunas led the way for the home side with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting. Lithuania dominated on the glass, outrebounding Venezuela 41-31. A strong second quarter helped propel the winning side, as Lithuania outscored Venezuela 25-18.

NBA Player Performances

Valanciunas not only scored 20 points against Venezuela, but he also added to his stat line with 11 rebounds. The Grizzlies big man wasn't the only NBA player in the game as Indiana Pacers centre Domantas Sabonis was also a contributor for Lithuania. Sabonis had 12 points (6-for-8 shooting), eight rebounds and two assists.

Group B - Split, Croatia: Brazil 83, Tunisia 57

Game Summary

Brazil's Olympic qualifying run started off as a success after defeating Tunisia handedly. Brazil shot lights out from behind the arc (43%) and dominated on the glass, outrebounding Tunisia 42-36. Brazil's leading scorers were Vitor Benite (15), Rafael Hettsheimeir (11) and Leonardo Meindl (10). The stifling Brazlian defence held Tunisia to just 36 percent from the field in the victory.

Group A - Belgrade, Serbia: Serbia 94, Dominican Republic 76

Game Summary

A dominant fourth quarter helped Serbia secure a victory over the Dominican Republic on Tuesday in Group A play of the Serbia Olympic qualifying tournament. The home side outscored the visitors 27-10 in the final quarter to secure an 18-point win at home. Dallas Mavericks centre Boban Marjanovic led all scorers with 18 points.

NBA Player Performances

Marjanovic was a dominant presence down low for Serbia, not only leading all scorers but also grabbing 10 rebounds. He was joined on the Serbia side by Miami Heat forward Nemanja Bjelica, who poured in 12 points of his own including two 3-pointers.

Group A - Victoria, Canada: Canada 97, Greece 91

Game Summary

Canada earned a hard-fought win in the first game of Group A play at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, Canada. The Canadians trailed throughout much of the first half, but pulled away in the second, thanks in part to Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins and New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett.

NBA Player Performances

Wiggins led the way with 23 points, while Barrett notched 22 for Canada. New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 18, Dallas Mavericks centre Dwight Powell added 12 and grabbed 7 rebounds, San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles scored 8, and a trio of NBA guards- Oklahoma City Thunder's Luguentz Dort, Detroit Pistons' Cory Joseph and Golden State's Mychal Mulder added 3 points each.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo tallied four points for Greece.

Group B - Victoria, Canada: Turkey 95, Uruguay 86

Game Summary

Turkey needed a late fourth-quarter run to get past Uruguay in the opening game of Group B in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Canada. Led by leading scorer Jayson Granger (25 points), Uruguay hung tough late into the fourth before Turkey finally pulled away. The Uruguayans drained 12 3s in the game and shot 50.0 percent from the field overall (31-for-62).

NBA Player Performances

Turkey was led by Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, who racked up a game-high 27 points and 9 rebounds in the win. Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter Furkan Korkmaz added 8 points, while Utah Jazz forward Ersan Ilyasova posted six.

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