Greece, Germany and Czech Republic advanced to the 2019 World Cup

Photo: FIBA

Greece, Germany and Czech Republic became the first three teams from Europe that officially qualified to the 2019 World Cup.

The aforementioned squads joined the African pair of Nigeria and Tunisia as the qualified teams so far, alongside hosts China.

The Greeks beat Georgia on the road (85-86) and remained undefeated, despite trailing from the opening tip.

Nick Calathes scored a career-high 31 points for Greece, with Kostas Papanikolaou’s two-pointer at the buzzer giving the squad the victory and the qualification to the World Cup.

On the other hand, Tornike Shengelia had 22 points for the losing squad. Georgia now dropped to 3-5 and have to immediately recover, if they are to fight for the third place.

For their part, Germany came back from a 23-point deficit against Israel (35-58) and tied the game at the buzzer (thanks to Max Kleber’s two-pointer). The hosts defeated the Israelis in overtime (112-98) and sealed their ticket to the World Cup.

Dennis Schroder was impressive for the winners, with 30 points and 13 assists. Jack Cohen scored 23 points for the visitors.

Photo: FIBA

Czech Republic edged Bosnia and Herzegovina on the road (80-85) and became the third team that advanced to the World Cup.

Tomas Satoransky led the way for the Czechs, with 22 points, whereas Jusuf Nurkic contributed 19 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks for Bosnia.

In the other matches, Serbia and France prevailed over Estonia (91-65) and Finland (83-67), respectively, and remained alive in the qualification race.

Nine more national teams from Europe are expected to secure their place in the World Cup.

Photo: FIBA

Here are the results:

Group K

Russia (4-4) – Bulgaria (3-5) 77 – 73
France (7-1) – Finland (4-4) 83 – 67
Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-6) – Czech Republic (7-1) 80 – 85

Group L

Georgia (3-5) – Greece (8-0) 85 86
Germany (8-0) – Israel (3-5) 112 98
(5-3) – Estonia (2-6) 91-65