Joe Ingles of Australia drives the ball during the 2019 FIBA World Cup, first round match between Australia and Senegal at Dongguan Basketball Center on September 3, 2019, in Dongguan, China.
Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images

FIBA World Cup: Ingles' near triple-double leads Australia to victory; Mitchell and Team USA survive overtime scare

by Aaron Falk

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis’ review was simple and understated. “A pretty impressive performance,” he called it. Joe Ingles’ game, however, was anything but understated.

The veteran forward was masterful in Australia’s 81-68 win over Senegal, as the Boomers improved to 2-0 in the first round of the FIBA World Cup. Ingles finished one assist shy of a triple-double (17 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks) to make sure his team clinched a spot in the second round.

 

 

Elsewhere in China, Gobert’s French team also moved to 2-0 thanks to another big performance from the Stifle Tower. Gobert had 16 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in a 103-64 blowout victory over Jordan.

 

 

When Donovan Mitchell was considering whether to accept an invitation from Team USA, he consulted with two teammates who knew a thing or two about the FIBA World Cup. Ingles and Gobert told him it would be worth it, but it wouldn’t be easy.

“I heard so much about the play in general and how tough the competition is,” Mitchell said before the start of the tournament. “Everybody wants to beat us.”

Mitchell and Team USA learned that lesson firsthand on Tuesday, as the United States survived with a 93-92 overtime win against Turkey in Shanghai.

"I got a text from my former teammate Ricky Rubio, and he said, ‘Welcome to FIBA’," Mitchell said after the game. "It’s really physical, but I think we enjoyed it. It’s what we signed up for. We wouldn’t want it any other way."

Mitchell had nine points, four rebounds and four assists in the overtime win.

"It just shows like I’ve been saying, the will of this team," Mitchell said of the win. "I don’t think you can get a win like this without being as connected and close as we are. We’ve done a great job of that. We’ve only been with each other for about a month or so, and I’m so proud of everybody on the team. I know it’s one game. I know we got a lot more to go. This really builds character, and it shows what type of group that we have. Guys were really locked in."

Mitchell, Gobert and Ingles will all be back in action on Thursday. Team USA plays Japan (6:30 a.m. MT), Australia plays Lithuania (5:30 a.m. MT) and France finishes group play against the Dominican Republic (6:30 a.m. MT). All of the games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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