Opening Round Results at the 2019 FIBA World Cup

By Nick Gallo | Broadcast Reporter & Digital Editor | mailbag@okcthunder.com

Over the past six days in the Chinese cities of Foshan and Shenzhen, two Thunder players have been representing their home countries, battling it out with rivals from all over the globe as a part of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Italy and the Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and will be advancing from Group D to second round play in the tournament after going 2-1 in the opening round with wins over the Philippines and Angola and a loss to Serbia. Germany and Thunder guard Dennis Schröder dropped their first two games in Group G to France and the Dominican Republic by a total of 6 points, meaning that the Germans will be playing in the consolation round despite beating Jordan on Thursday.

Below is a breakdown of the action so far, followed by the upcoming schedule heading into the weekend:

August 31 – Italy 108, Philippines 62  

Recap: This one was never close 37-8 after the first quarter in favor of Italy, as the Azzuri ran away to a blowout victory.

Thunder Stat Line: Danilo Gallinari scored 16 points (5/6 shooting, 4/5 from three) with 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

Thunder Play of the Game: Gallniari received an entry pass on a post-up on the left block, froze the defense and delivered a bounce pass to a cutting teammate for an easy layup.

Quotes: “It’s always very good to start a competition like this in the right way,” Gallinari said in the postgame press conference available on FIBA’s website. “It’s never easy because there’s a lot of work we put in the game to win a game like this… Our percentages from outside were very good, but they were very good because they were all open shots with very good ball movement. Very good rhythm.”

September 1 – Germany 74, France 78  

Recap: It was an extremely low scoring first quarter with France leading 16-4. Germany trailed 36-20 at halftime but made a remarkable comeback to cut it to two with less than 7 seconds remaining, though it was too little, too late.

Thunder Stat Line: Schröder scored 23 points (2-for-5 from three) with 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

Thunder Play of the Game: After a screen from Daniel Theis, Schröder hesitated with an in-and-out dribble at the top of the key, then found his big man for an and-one alley-oop. 

September 2 – Italy 92, Angola 61

Recap: Another strong performance right out of the gates from Italy, who led by 23 at halftime and got double-digit scoring from 5 different players in a straightforward victory.

Thunder Stat Line: Gallinari racked up 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.

Thunder Play of the Game: Gallinari drives right past his defender from the top of the key, attacks to the rim and slams it home with two hands. 

September 3 – Germany 68, Dominican Republic 70

Recap: It was a back and forth game, with the Dominican Republic retaking the lead by 6 at 69-63 with 2:51 to go. Germany came roaring back, but when Schröder kicked the ball out to a teammate for a game-winning three-pointer, the shot fell short.

Thunder Stat Line: Schröder scored 20 points along with 7 assists and 3 rebounds.

Thunder Play of the Game: Schröder attacked the rim twice with incredible touch. First, he got bumped while going left, floating in a righty push shot while falling to the ground. Then after being pressured out top and leaving his man in the dust, Schroder euro-stepped in the middle of the paint for a slick righty layup. 

September 4 – Italy 77, Serbia 92

Recap: Despite a strong performance from Gallinari and some hot three-point shooting for the Italians, Serbia got a lights-out, 31-point showing from Bogdan Bogdanovic to complete a decisive victory.

Thunder Stat Line: Gallinari scored a team-high 26 points on 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) shooting, including a 3-for-5 mark from three to go with 8 rebounds and 1 assist.

Thunder Play of the Game: Gallinari post up on the left wing, separates and hits a nice fadeaway jump shot with a soft touch.   

September 5 – Germany 96, Jordan 62

Recap: Germany jumped out to an 11-point first quarter lead, shot nearly 60 percent from the field and a remarkable 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) from the three-point line before sealing the victory in the fourth quarter by outscoring Jordan 30-13.

Thunder Stat Line: Schröder scored 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting including 2-for-2 from the three-point line while also dishing out 11 assists and making a steal.

Thunder Play of the Game: Driving left around a screen, Schröder bounced a pass between his own legs to a teammate. Later, Schröder curled right around a screen and picking the ball up just with his right hand, seamlessly flung a lob alley-oop pass to a teammate for a slam dunk.

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In the second round, Italy will square off against Spain on Friday morning in the city of Wuhan while Germany will play against Senegal on Saturday in the consolation bracket.

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