After all the waiting and anticipation, the FIBA World Cup is finally underway and there was a great deal of excitement on day one of the tournament. A Spanish player was the highest scoring individual on the day and Team USA grabbed the most points in total. These elements mean that for many, the tournament is on track, but there were plenty of shocks and excitement along the way.
Most of the favourites triumphed on day one, with the bookmakers being happy about that, but you can bet that there are plenty more World Cup betting opportunities to enjoy in the weeks ahead in Spain.
Group A – Granada
Pau Gasol was the main man for Spain, clocking up over one third of his team’s points, with 33 of the 90 that the host nation delivered against Iran. The 90-60 margin was exactly what the home crowd wanted to see.
The real game of the day in group A was the match between France and Brazil with a final score of 63-65 indicating how tight the match was. Marcelino Heurtas grabbed 16 points to give the Brazilians victory. Milos Tedosovic was the top scorer for Serbia as they defeated Egypt by 85 points to 64.
The games on 1st of September are:
- Iran v Serbia
- France v Egypt
- Brazil v Spain
Serbia and France should be able to get straightforward victories in their match but it is the Brazil v Spain game that will undoubtedly the game of the day in the group.
Group B – Seville
Croatia required OT to defeat the Philippines in a match that was much tighter than most people would have predicted. Bojan Bogdanović was the top scorer for Croatia with 26 points but the top scorer in the game was Andray Blatche, who helped himself to 28 points, which so nearly gave the Philippines the victory they craved.
Argentina eased past Puerto Rico, by a score of 98-75, but once again the losing side had the highest scoring player in the game. Jose Juan Barea of Puerto Rico scored 24 points while Luis Scola of Argentina helped himself to 20 points.
The trend of top points grabber finishing on the losing side was continued in the final game with Gorgui Deng of Senegal picking up 21 points while Kostas Kaimakoglou helped Greece to victory with 20 points. The final score was 87-64.
The games on 1st of September are:
- Croatia v Senegal
- Argentina v Philippines
- Puerto Rico v Greece
Group B is shaping up as a tight group and it may be that Monday has a couple of shocks in it, and all three of the games look as they are worth checking out.
Group C – Barakaldo
Unsurprisingly, Team USA were top scorers on the opening day of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, breaking the 100 points barrier, demolishing Finland. The American side may be lacking a number of big names, but they are clearly a force to be reckoned with. Klay Thompson grabbed 18 points.
The other two games in Group C were a lot closer. Ukraine beat the Dominican Republic by a score of 72-62 while Turkey triumphed over New Zealand by a score of 76-73.
The teams in Group C have a rest day on the 1st of September, but are back in action for three days in a row come the 2nd.
Group D – Las Palmas
Angola grabbed a crucial win over South Korea in the opening game of Group D, the winning scoreline being 80-69. Two players, Olimpio Cipriano and Yanick Moreira both scored 16 points in the victory.
Slovenia edged out Australia by a score of 90-80 with Goran Dragic scoring 12 points and picking up 7 assists. The final game of the opening day in Group D saw Lithuania beat Mexico by a score of 87-74. Jonas Mačiulis was the top scorer for the Lithuanian team with 19 points.
Group D teams also have a rest day on the 1st of September but like the teams in Group C, will be involved for three days in a row from Tuesday the 2nd of September. By the end of the third round of games, the makeup of the groups will start to take shape, making it easier to determine who will progress from the group stages into the knock-out round.
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