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  1. #1

    2020 International Basketball Thread

    Chelsea Gray's teammates for two exhibition games ahead of three competitive games has been announced:

    Both exhibitions will be on TV here and then the team will participate in the Olympic qualifying tournament being held in Serbia, although they have already secured a spot for the summer.

  2. #2
    Sofia Roma was named to Puerto Rico's roster for the Olympic qualifiers next week:

    Speaking of those tournaments, the one scheduled for China was moved to Serbia for understandable reasons.

    The first South Sudan team since Luol Deng was named president of their federation played well, but failed to get past Kenya to make it to the next round of AfroBasket qualification. If he can continue to bring in players with ties to the country who developed elsewhere, they could be a team to watch in the future.

  3. #3
    Chelsea Gray and the United States participated in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade despite already qualifying, beating hosts Serbia 88-69 in the opener. Chelsea had 8 points in 19 minutes. In the loss, ex-WNBA player Ana Dabovic and ex-WNBA player Jelena Milovanovic had 13 points each.

    Sofia Roma did not play as Puerto Rico took a big step in Bourges with a 91-89 win over Brazil in overtime. Ex-Kentucky player Jennifer O'Neill had 30 points and 6 rebounds, ex-Oregon State player Ali Gibson had 20 points and 7 rebounds, and ex-James Madison player Jazmon Gwathmey had 15 points and 8 rebounds. In the loss, WNBA player Damiris Dantas had 26 points and 15 rebounds and ex-WNBA player Erika De Souza had 15 points and 8 rebounds.

    I wrote about those games and the other six played today here:

  4. #4
    Chelsea Gray and the United States continued their tournament with a 124-49 win over Mozambique. Chelsea had 9 points and 12 assists in 19 minutes.

    Sofia Roma and Puerto Rico lost to Australia 100-74. Sofia played 7 minutes. Ex-James Madison player Jazmon Gwathmey had 30 points and ex-Kentucky player Jennifer O'Neill had 14 points. In the win, WNBA player Liz Cambage had 31 points and 6 rebounds, WNBA player Rebecca Allen had 12 points and 6 rebounds, and ex-WNBA player Cayla Francis had 11 points and 8 rebounds.

    I wrote about the other games here as teams started clinching Olympic spots:

  5. #5
    Chelsea Gray and the United States had a meaningless game against Nigeria and ended up only winning 76-71. Chelsea had 12 points and 7 assists in 27 minutes. In the loss, ex-Savannah State player Ezinne Kalu had 17 points and 8 assists, ex-Temple player Victoria Macaulay had 12 points and 6 rebounds, and ex-Kentucky player Evelyn Akhator had 10 points.

    Sofia Roma and Puerto Rico already qualified for the Olympics due to the other game before they played France, losing 89-51. Sofia played 13 minutes. Rookie Isalys Quinones from Dartmouth had 17 points and ex-Oregon State player Ali Gibson had 10 points. In the win, ex-WNBA player Sandrine Gruda had 20 points and 10 rebounds, ex-WNBA player Endy Miyem had 17 points, and WNBA player Marine Johannes had 16 points.

    I wrote about the other games here as the Olympics are now set on the women's side:

  6. #6
    USA Basketball named a very big pool of players for the Olympics:

    It includes Brandon, Kyrie, Mason, and Jayson. Of course, a number of players will drop out before any practices and attempts to name the final team.

    Oddly, we have this list, but no information on who will be playing for Mike Fratello in a few weeks although I am sure figuring out which G League players are available is a tough balancing act. They could supplement the group with free agents from China as the league there is on hiatus as well as players from eliminated teams in Australia as the regular season there ends this weekend.

  7. #7
    USA Basketball announced the squad for the upcoming AmeriCup qualifiers:

    As expected, it is G League heavy with one play who was in China before their league was halted.

    In related news, there are increasing rumors that games originally moved to countries with less virus concerns might be postponed.

  8. #8
    The United States started their new campaign for AmeriCup 2021 as they started their title defense in qualifiers with an 83-70 win in Puerto Rico.

    They did have to make a roster change before the game:

    Also in the northern section Group D, Mexico beat the Bahamas 75-61 to give themselves the early advantage as the top three teams in each group qualify.

    In South America Group A, Venezuela used a late comeback to leave Argentina with a 74-68 win. It was harder than expected, but Colombia edged Chile 60-59 on the road.|tab=boxscore|tab=boxscore

    The day started with Asia Cup Qualifiers, but health concerns did postpone some games. Guam was able to get their game with Hong Kong stopped after it had already had the venues swapped. The Group C game that did get played resulted in a surprise as New Zealand went to Australia and won 108-98.

    East Asia Group A had Thailand-Philippines called off, but South Korea did beat Indonesia 109-76 on the rod.

    West Asia Group E started play and Iran beat Syria 94-48 at home. Saudi Arabia beat Qatar 68-57 at home as teams fight hard to be the top two teams in the group and advance automatically instead of being the third place teams and dropping down to the additional tournament as the last place teams will be eliminated.

    Half of the groups started play in the EuroBasket qualifiers as well as the top three teams in each group will qualify unless the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, or Italy finish last in which case they would take the place of the third place team.

    In Group A, Spain looked solid in an 84-71 win in Romania. Israel pulled off a big surprise in Poland, leaving with a 75-71 win.

    In Group B, Estonia put themselves in great position to qualify by going to North Macedonia and winning 81-72. Italy beat Russia 83-64 at home.

    In Group E, an overtime thriller went to hosts Georgia 96-88 over Switzerland. New look Serbia won 80-58 in Finland.

    In Group F, Hungary came back at home to beat defending champions Slovenia 77-75. Ukraine won 88-73 in Austria.

    The teams that failed to advance to this stage are also playing, but for future tournaments as the top two teams in each group advance. In Group A, Belarus won 97-41 in Cyprus. It was closer in Portugal as the hosts beat Albania 70-62.

    In Group B, Slovakia had a surprisingly tough time with Luxembourg at home, but won 73-65. Kosovo-Iceland was supposed to be a good game and it ended up that way as the hosts survived 80-78.

  9. #9
    Another busy day of qualifying games around the world started in East Asia Group B with China not making the trip to Japan leaving Taiwan beating Malaysia 152-48 at home as the only game.

    In West Asia Group D, Bahrain stunned India 68-67 at home. The other home team also won as Lebanon bested Iraq 87-68.

    West Asia Group F also started play and Kazakhstan barely edged Palestine at home 79-76 because Sani Sakakini was brilliant for the visitors. Jordan beat Sri Lanka 100-45 at home in the other game.

    Africa will not be using home and away games, instead having the six games played in two separate batches of three at one location each time. That meant that only one group started in this window with the field still not set for one of the other groups. With the top two teams advancing, play began in Cameroon. The Ivory Coast beat Guinea 58-50. Equatorial Guinea did not bring a full roster and lost to the hosts 90-58.

    In Europe Group C, the Czech Republic had an unexpectedly tough time with Denmark at home, but won 75-71. Belgium had better player availability than Lithuania, but the 86-65 margin their favor at home was a surprise.

    In Group D, Croatia beat Sweden 72-56 at home as they looked to avoid a repeat of their poor performances in the last qualifying process. Turkey had player availability concerns, but losing to the Netherlands 72-65 at home was still a surprise.

    In Group G, Montenegro got the early edge on Great Britain with an 81-74 win at home. Germany beat France 83-69 with neither team at close to full strength.

    In Group H, Greece beat Bulgaria 73-63 at home. Bosnia and Herzegovina was able to come back in Latvia to win 62-61.

    Of course play in the Americas closed the day. In the southern section Group B, Brazil beat Uruguay 83-72 at home. Panama is stuck with the South American teams again and hosted Paraguay, 82-79.

    In the northern section Group C, Canada had to change home venues to danger associated with a scoreboard, but still beat the Dominican Republic 89-72. The US Virgin Islands actually fielded 12 players, which has often been a challenge, and left Cuba with an 80-64 win.

  10. #10
    It was a quiet day as the only games played were in Africa Group C. Hosts Ivory Coast beat Equatorial Guinea 78-64. Cameroon also stayed perfect with a 90-59 win over Guinea as both teams figure to be favorites to advance.

    As a reminder, the continental qualifying games are on ESPN+ with games on Sunday and Monday. European games for future tournament and not part of the 2021 process will be on YouTube on Sunday.

  11. #11
    The United States got to host the second qualifier and had another fast start and beat Puerto Rico 95-73.

    The format for these two games in the Americas was home and home so the other Group D game was also a reverse of the first game. The Bahamas beat Mexico 76-59, which could be a critical result at the end of qualifying as they overturned the margin from the other game.

    In South America Group A, Argentina was struggling in Venezuela, but had a dramatic comeback to get revenge 73-72. The bigger surprise was Chile avenging their home loss with a 64-57 win in Columbia to hold the expected tiebreaker.

    East Asia Group A play included the first game for Thailand as they were tough at South Korea before losing 93-86. The Philippines also made their debut, losing 100-70 at Indonesia.

    In Group C, Hong Kong was allowed to make the trip to Australia, but they lost 115-52. There is some intrigue among global basketball junkies (I'm guilty) knowing that Guam is likely to be in Asia's tournament now that they no longer have to beat the Oceania powers and they kept it fairly respectable at home in a 113-94 loss to New Zealand.

    In West Asia Group E, Iran continued to take care of business at home with a 95-52 win over Qatar. Syria nearly gave up a big lead, but survived in overtime in Saudi Arabia to win 75-70.

    One group is already halfway done in Africa as Equatorial Guinea picked up their first win, 82-75 over Guinea to have the early advantage on taking the last qualifying place in the group. Host Ivory Coast should feel comfortable after winning the battle of undefeated teams 82-74 over Cameroon.
    Standings: Ivory Coast 3-0, Cameroon 2-1, Equatorial Guinea 1-2, Guinea 0-3

    Some European teams added in EuroLeague players for these second game, but not Spain in an 80-69 home loss to Poland in Group A.

    Extra players did not help Russia too much in Group B, but they beat North Macedonia 77-67. Estonia battled at home, but Italy used a strong second half to leave with an 87-81 win.|tab=boxscore

    Even player unavailability was not supposed to affect this result, but Georgia managed to escape Serbia with 94-90 win in Group E. Finland avoided a disaster start by coming back to win 69-64 in Switzerland.

    Austria was looking for the upset after halftime, but Slovenia figured it out late to win 85-78 at home. Hungary is in great position after leaving Ukraine with a 62-60 win.

    Teams in Europe who did not make it to this stage were also busy with qualification for the future. One Group A game was played and Albania beat Cyprus 71-64 at home. Luxembourg has been surprisingly tough in Group B, but Kosovo left with an 84-80 win. Iceland beat Slovakia 83-74 to garner an advantage for one of the top two spots that will award places in the next round.|tab=boxscore

  12. #12
    The final day of qualifiers in this period started in East Asia Group B with Malaysia's trip to China postponed. Japan used a fast start to win 96-57 in Taiwan.

    In West Asia Group D, Iraq was able to host a game for the first time in a long time, but lost to India 94-75. Group favorites Lebanon won 116-73 over Bahrain at home.

    In Group F, Jordan won 71-68 at Kazakhstan. The new format allowed for a historic occasion as Palestine hosted a game for the first time and beat Sri Lanka 102-60.

    Europe Group A had their second games split across days and Israel stayed perfect with an 87-63 win over Romania.

    In Group C, Belgium won 88-72 at Denmark. Lithuania looked like they were going to be stunned again, but rallied in the fourth quarter at home to beat the Czech Republic 97-89.

    In Group D, Croatia was impressive in the fourth quarter to leave the Netherlands with a 69-59 win. Turkey is in a tough position after losing 87-80 in Sweden.

    In Group G, France beat Montenegro 85-66 at home. Great Britain beat Germany 81-73 at home so all the teams are tied.|tab=boxscore

    In Group H, Latvia's resentment of this format grew with a 110-104 double-overtime loss in Bulgaria. Greece sits atop the group after a 70-65 win at Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    One future qualifier was played with Belarus beating Portugal 72-56 in Group A:

    In the Americas, Cuba was surprisingly dominant to avenge their loss at home, winning 91-64 in the US Virgin Islands. In the other northern section Group C game, it took overtime for the Dominican Republic to avenge their earlier loss to Canada and win 88-84.

    In the southern section Group B, Panama completed the sweep of Paraguay with a 75-66 win on the road. Uruguay roared back in front of their home crowd to force overtime, but Brazil recovered to win 83-76.

  13. #13
    Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on international sports. The next stage of 3x3 qualifying for the Olympics has been postponed. Of course there is the worry about the Olympics in general.

    U17 tournaments for Asia/Oceania have been cancelled. That means that Australia, China, Japan, and South Korea will take the assigned spots in the world championships. That is bad news for teams like New Zealand, the Philippines, and Taiwan that figured to put up a fight for those places. With FIBA establishing more central control, the hope is that eventually this region will have better centralized qualifying procedures in the preceding summers like everyone else thus avoiding all of the issues with these two tournaments.

    With that field set, the draw for the U17 World Championship for Girls was conducted:

  14. #14
    We finally got some national team play over the past few days. There was one spot open for Afrobasket qualifying and South Sudan, with Luol Deng as Federation President, faced Chad and Cape Verde in Cameroon. Cape Verde won the decisive game to grab the last place.|tab=boxscore

    In a few weeks, EuroBasket Women qualifiers will be played and then shortly after that, men's qualifiers in all four regions will be played, all in bubble formats.

  15. #15
    We have had our first major test of the international basketball bubble process as EuroBasket Women qualifiers are being played. Albania and Belarus were not able to compete, but everyone else made it despite a number of star individuals testing positive. I recapped the games here as there were no Duke implications:

    FIBA intends on having men's qualifiers in all four sections in a few weeks. There have been issues finding willing hosts. As a result, no East Asian teams are hosting (their qualifiers are split by East and West) so those games will share bubbles in West Asia. Several East Asian countries have expressed concern over this decision, but nobody has officially decided not to play. USA Basketball has not announced which players will be involved in the Americas qualification process.

  16. #16
    A scary number of star players tested positive and could not play, but the first major national team experiment in these conditions was completed with all scheduled games completed. FIBA should be feeling like it will be possible to pull everything off on a grander scale on the men's side soon, but the potential collapse of Argentina's league format is not a great sign.

    Belgium clinched their spot in EuroBasket Women alongside hosts France and Spain with several other countries virtually secure. I recapped all the games here:

  17. #17
    Antonio Vrankovic has been called up for Croatia's squad for their upcoming EuroBasket qualifiers:

    There are reports that Paolo Banchero is traveling to join up with Italy's squad, but that has not officially been announced yet. He was a part of the very long list that was announced a while ago. Without their NBA and key EuroLeague players, this could be a good opportunity for him.

    The games are not listed on WatchESPN right now so it is possible that they fall under the FIBA YouTube umbrella. Many countries still have not announced their planned teams for these upcoming games.

  18. #18
    Here is the list of 16 players competing for 12 spots for Italy:

    Considering that they are having him fly halfway around the world, Paolo should be considered pretty likely to play in the games.

    WatchESPN has populated the schedule now and all of these games will be on ESPN+ as we look forward to basketball overkill this week.

  19. #19
    Paolo did not make the trip for precautionary reasons as someone in his family is feeling sick.

    Amile was named to the USA squad under Mike Fratello as they have one more player than spots on the gameday roster:

    The United States also agreed to host the group in Indianapolis as none of the other teams were willing and there was the possibility they would be shipped to one of the South America locations.

  20. #20
    Algeria pulled out of AfroBasket qualification so South Sudan was called upon to fill the last spot. Luol Deng then appointed himself coach so he will be debuting soon.

    Today's games were just four from Europe for the teams already eliminated from EuroBasket qualification fighting for spots in future tournaments.

    Group B is playing in Bratislava, Slovakia in this window. Iceland beat Luxembourg 90-76 in the first game. The hosts sit atop the tiebreaker at the halfway point after a 91-67 win over Kosovo.
    Standings: Slovakia 2-1, Iceland 2-1, Kosovo 2-1, Luxembourg 0-3

    Group A is playing in Matosinhos, Portugal in this window. Belarus beat Albania 90-50 as both countries managed to field teams after pulling out of games on the women's side weeks ago. The hosts are in second place after beating Cyprus 74-56.
    Standings: Belarus 3-0, Portugal 2-1, Albania 1-2, Cyprus 0-3

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