Tuesday, August 10, 2010

World Championship friendly updates

Greece is looking great. Last weekend they beat Croatia by 9, Germany by 28, and Russia by 38. Nice addition they found in former Florida Gator Nick Calathes, who led them in scoring.

--In a surprise to me, Serbia ended up beating Turkey fairly easily 83-70, led by Nenad Krstic.

--Angola, the African champions, got crushed over the weekend by Brazil 59-89. So much for African basketball superiority!

--Germany is not looking strong. They always have a great defense, but they are not getting any scoring punch, and appear to be stuck at the lower levels of the comp: losing by one to Croatia, winning by 3 over Russia (also, Russia beat Croatia by 1).

--Puerto Rico, lost the best of three with Argentina over the last week, although they played without Carlos Arroyo and Renaldo Balkman (and the last game without their big man Ramos). They lost the first game in overtime by five, then won by 7, but lost the final in the series by 13.

--Argentina played their three games against P.R. without Oberto and Nocioni, and the first two without Prigioni, who will all be with them for the Worlds. Luis Scola continues to play like a monster, scoring 33 in their final victory over P.R. Scola may be the best player in the tournament at the Worlds.

--Spain has beaten three quality opponents fairly easily in the past week, still looking like the tourny favorites: beating Ivory Coast by 15, Lithuania by 21, and Slovenia by 20. JC Navarro, Rudy Fernandez, and Marc Gasol look to be the keys to their success.

--Lithuania beat Slovenia by 3, considered a slight upset the way they have respectively been playing lately, led by Kleiza and Javtokas. Dragic continues to pour in points for Slovenia.

--New Zealand squeeked out a victory over Iran 69-68, led by Kirk Penney's 28. In their 71-76 loss to Serbia, Penney poured in 34.

--Iran now has Hadaddi in action, and are a very tough squad with him on the floor.

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