The first round of the FIBA World Cup is now finished and in front of us we have the round of 16 and the classification round, which both start tomorrow.
The end of the first round revealed some facts about the enormous “gap” between the top tier teams and the lesser squads mainly from Africa and Asia.
Let’s take look on the underachievers of the first 7 days of the tournament.
It’s evident that the expansion in the number of the teams didn’t achieve anything as far as the competition between them.
The main commonality for the teams coming from Africa was the great physical traits of their players, that were never exploited because of the lack of tactical ingenuity.
Also, most of the teams from Asia didn’t take advantage of their strong points, while, on between most of the squads, there was a great deficit as far as talent is concerned.
Clearly, the greatest underachievers in this category were Nigeria and China. Both teams, for different reasons, were inadequate to compete on the highest level.
The national team of the Nigeria had two defeats against Russia and Argentina and one win against one of the most impotent teams of the World Cup, South Korea.
The talented squad of “Tigers” wasn’t really in sync with the great lack of stability throughout the games being the main problem for them.
Evidently, the Nigerian squad was committing about 15 turnovers per game being the sixth worst team of the tournament in that category.
As far as the Chinese national team, they never took advantage of the fact that they were playing in front of their fans, while they were not capable of overcoming the most “fordable qualification path” in order to qualify to the round of 16.
Furthermore, the German national team and the Greek national team belong undoubtedly to the group of the underachievers.
Firstly, the “Die Mannschaft” could not overcame France and Dominican Republic in Group G of the World Cup.
Obviously, they didn’t have enough “firepower” in their offense scoring a mediocre 79.3 points per game, while shooting 44% in FG%.
On the other hand, the Greek squad, a favourite for the bronze medal according to the survey of RunRepeat, lost an important game against the experienced national team of Brazil, which it may cost them in the second round of the FIBA World Cup.
Although, they came back and secure a vital win against New Zealand, that brought them to the round of 16, the following days will eventually uncover what’s in store for the Greeks, as they need two “big” wins in order to amp up their chances.
Coach Skourtopoulos’ players need to overcome Team USA and Czech Republic in order to secure a place in the quarter finals of the competition.