2015 FIBA U19, Day 2 recap

2015 FIBA U19Day 2 of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship saw some of the tournament favourites consolidate their positions in the group stages. However, it was yet another day of enthralling action as the underdog nations hustled to cause plenty of scares and a lot of excitement for the crowds in Heraklion, Greece.

Group A

USA vs. Croatia, 103-81
Team USA is of course hot favourite at the 2015 FIBA U19 tournament and so far the team has lived up to its billing. The winningest nation in the history of this competition (5 titles) opened with a big win over Iran on Saturday and built on that with a cruising victory over Croatia on Sunday. USA had the game tied up through halftime, nailing 58 points through the opening quarters to ensure a 19-point halftime lead. Jayson Tatum secured 22 points for the winners, while Joshua Jackson doubled up with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Marko Arapovic and Ante Zizic kept the Croatians ticking with 16 points apiece.

Egypt vs. Iran, 62-59
Iran slipped to a second consecutive defeat as Egypt edged to victory to claim a 1-1 record after two contests. The first quarter was tight, but in the second frame the Egyptians used a 20-4 run to take the lead for good. Mohamed Taha Mohammed topped the winning effort with 17 points, although Iran’s Mohammed Yousofvand had a game to remember as he logged 22 points, 21 boards, and 6 assists. Egypt is now locked with Croatia on 1-1, both nations chasing the USA on a 2-0 record.

Group B

Turkey vs. Spain, 72-65
A contest that was hard to predict saw Turkey defeat Spain to take a 2-0 record at the top of arguably the trickiest group in the 2015 FIBA U19. The loss confined the Spanish to a 1-1 record as they paid the price for a shaky first half that allowed Turkey to take a 14 point lead into the long break. The Turks held on through the second half to claim the win, with Furkan Korkmaz scoring 14 points to pace the win.

China vs. Argentina, 74-67
China stunned Argentina to open its account in this year’s competition, while sending the South Americans to the bottom of Group B with a 0-2 record. Argentina led at the first split, but China managed to take the lead at the midway point (32-27), although the Argentine’s hit back to tie the game 47-47 through thirty minutes. In a tense closing act China found another gear to ensure the win with 28 points in the fourth.

Group C

Tunisia vs. Canada, 36-93
Group C threw up the most one sided game of the tournament so far as Canada demolished Tunisia to move to a 2-0 record. Tunisia drops to 0-2 and the team was never in this contest as Canada blitzed them from the opening minute to the last, taking a 54-11 lead into halftime and easing through the second half to an easy win. Jalen Poyser topped the Canadians with 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Corey Johnson offered 21 points.

Australia vs. Italy, 67-69
Italy joined Canada on a 2-0 record in Group C with a close fought win over Australia, who are now winless on 0-2. The Azzurri led by eight points at halftime (37-39) but had to contend with an Australian rally in the second half. The Aussies slipped just short of a comeback and Italy held on to stay unbeaten. Diego Flaccadori set the tone for the Italians with 23 points, while Jack McVeigh scored the most for Australia with 18 points.

Group D

Greece vs. Dominican Republic, 70-65
Host nation Greece picked up a second straight win to stay undefeated, although once again Dominican Republic provided a stern test for superior foes. However, despite all their hustle, the Dominicans are winless after also slipping to Serbia on Saturday. The teams traded buckets during the first frame (22-21), but Greece edged ahead in the second quarter and never looked back, although Dominican Republic stayed competitive throughout.

Serbia vs. South Korea, 113-83
Serbia posted one of the most impressive performances of the competition so far as the Europeans dismantled South Korea. The Serbians were hot at the basket all night and drained 54 points to ensure a 14 points first half lead. They got even better in the third act and poured in 31 points before extending through the fourth for an emphatic win. Borisa Simanic led Serbia with 23 points.

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