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Blatche and Barea

FIBA World Cup Studs From Day 5 J.J. Barea And Andray Blatche

As Team USA and Spain rolled to their fourth consecutive wins, Wednesday’s biggest studs were found in a battle between Puerto Rico and the Philippines as J.J. Barea and Andray Blatche fought to keep their team’s slim hopes of advancing beyond group play alive for another day.

Team USA found themselves in garbage time early, so Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski spread the minutes around during the 35 point blowout win over the Dominican Republic. Spain’s three-headed monster of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka were far too much for France to deal with, but they shared the wealth and no one stood out on the stats sheet in the 88-64 win even if all of France’s big men looked overmatched.

Puerto Rico defeated the Philippines 77-73 on hot hand of the Timberwolves Barea who went on a personal 10-3 run that put his team up by five points late in the fourth quarter. Barea’s 30 point game was tops among all players on Day 5. As has been the case throughout group play, the Nets free agent power forward Blatche led the Philippines with his fourth consecutive double-double as the big man scored 25 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked 2 shots and had a steal, however, as usual, it wasn’t enough and the Philippines fell to 0-4 and out of contention for the next round.

The Suns free agent Hamed Haddadi is looking for a contract and he has been showing his value at the World Cup. On Wednesday he led Iran past Egypt 88-73 with a 23 point 15 rebound 1 steal 2 block effort that kept his team’s very slim hopes of advancing to the next round alive. It was Haddadi’s second double-double and second plus 20 point game as he has averaged 18 points and 10.5 rebounds on a team that doesn’t offer him much support.

The Pelicans new center Omer Asik put up 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and a block to help propel Turkey past Finland 77-73.

Pacers veteran forward Luis Scola led Argentina in scoring for the fourth consecutive time with 21 points and 14 rebounds in a 81-46 dismantling of upstart Senegal who had just won two games in a row for the first time ever at this tournament.

The Spurs free agent Aron Baynes keeps showing flashes of why this young big man should be able to land an NBA contract again this season as he led Australia past Mexico 70-62 with a game-high 21 points to go with 5 boards and 3 blocked shots.

Other Notables:

Angola’s Roberto Forte 21 points
Brazil’s Marquinhos Vieira 21 points
Croatia’s Bojan Bogdanovic (Nets) 20 points
Lithuania’s Adas Juskevicius 20 points

Check out all of the leading scorers at the FIBA World Cup here.


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.