Things get serious and we know the identity of the four teams that will make up Group K of this second round of the World Cup. Slovenia, Australia, Germany and Georgia. Suffice it to say that things are going to get complicated for countries in this group.
Event (matches at Okinawa Arena, Japan):
Friday 1 September:
- 10:30 am: Germany – Georgia
- 2:10 pm: Slovenia v Australia
Sunday, September 3:
- 9:30 am: Australia v Georgia
- 1:10pm: Germany v Slovenia
Australia: Xavier Cooks, Tyson Daniels, Dante Exum, Josh Gidde, Chris Goulding, Josh Green, Joe Ingles, Nick Kay, Patty Mills, Dube Reith, Mattis Thibul and Jack White
Germany: Isaac Bonga, Franz Wagner, Niels Kiffie, Justus Holatz, Moritz Wagner, David Kramer, Johannes Voigtmann, Mato Low, Andreas Obst, Dennis Schröder, Daniel Thies, and Johannes Thiemann.
Georgia: Rati Andronikashvili, Sandro Mamukhelashvili, Khakabar Gintsaradze, Luka Ligligadze, Giorgi Sindzadze, Giorgi Shermadini, Duda Sanadze, Giorgi Durdzhiladze, Michael Perishvili, Tornike Shenkelia, Tadus Go Pitadze.
Slovenia: Zika Samar, Aleksej Nikolic, Klemen Prebelic, Mike Tobey, Jaka Blasic, Gregor Hrovat, Zika Dimek, Zoran Dragic, Pine Prebelic, Gregor Klaas, Jogib Sebacek, Luka Doncic
Here’s what happened in the first round
Let’s start with the “little thumb” of this group: Georgia. Building on a successful group stage with two wins from three matches, the Georgians earned the right to face the big nations in the second round at the expense of main rivals Venezuela and Cape Verde in the group stage. Shengelia’s team-mates Bidatze and Mamu will have Germany first, then Australia, and they don’t have much to lose no matter what happens.
The Germans, for their part, continue their momentum from EuroBasket 2022, where they brought home a beautiful bronze medal. Despite internal problems before the tournament began, the Germans impressed in the game, especially in the group stage, establishing themselves as serious underdogs in the competition. Dennis Schroeder drove the truck very well, especially against Australia where he scored 30 points in the first place decider.
The Australian Boomers lost against Germany, but their basketball IQ and their tact have lost none. A particularly tough team to play in particularly tough matches. The Australians have a real card to play with Josh Gidde being so prominent in his outfield. The first match against Slovenia will be crucial if the Kangaroos are to stay alive. Josh Gidde is also set for his fight against Luka Doncic.
Danzig, Danzig, Danzig and more Danzig. Slovenia’s group stage can be summed up like this. On a very cheap team, the Mavs wizard has simply enjoyed this early stage, especially hitting 34 and 37 pawns during his first two contests. Particularly sharp after a solid summer of preparation, the Slovenian captain wants to push his nation as high as possible at this World Cup. Be careful not to overdo it, especially against more established teams like Australia and Germany.
A small thumb in Georgia history, it should quietly bend over twice and let the big boys beat each other at center court. Behind that there is little buzz in the gate and Germany and Slovenia could do well, with the leaders (Schröder, Danzig) in full swing and a collective platform better than Australia. But watch out for the Boomers who beat the Slovenians for Olympic bronze in 2021.
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