FIBA World Cup: Splitter leads Brazil past Iran for 2-0 start

While Brazil coach Ruben Magnano needed big minutes from San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter to help defend Boris Diaw in their first win of group play yesterday, Splitter played a modest 16 minutes today in a route of Iran 79-50.

In 16 minutes, however, Splitter contributed 10 points, six rebounds and one blocked shot.

Splitter started the game for Brazil, and he had a few gaffes early, missing consecutive free throws and a layup, but dusted himself off in order to score on a jump shot and made the best of his next trips to the line, and was also active on the boards.

He was subbed in with less than a minute remaining in the half, but managed to make an impact with a layup and a defensive rebound.

Magnano was very Pop-esque managing his players’ minutes. Only leading scorer Alex Garcia played over 20 minutes and no player played less than 14.

Garcia led Brazil with 12 points and three steals while Leandro Barbosa came off the bench for 11 points and six assists. Mohammad Jamshidi with 13 points.

Splitter and Brazil, now 2-0 and first in Group A, will now face brothers Pau and Marc Gasol, and host country Spain tomorrow.

Splitter will likely be in heavy rotation guarding the Gasol’s, especially after they combined for 48 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks in a 30-point thrashing of Iran yesterday.

Through two games, Splitter is averaging 11.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Australia 89, Korea 55

If there is any truth to the rumor that the Spurs are interested in Mexico’s center, Gustavo Ayon, Aron Baynes seems to be doing everything in his power to get signed and take the last roster spot with his play in Spain.

Today, Australia absolutely destroyed Korea to the tune of a 34-point victory. In 22 minutes, Baynes finished 13 points, and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes. While Baynes missed three of his four free throw attempts, he shot 46 percent from the field.

As Paul Garcia reported yesterday, Baynes had 21 points and seven rebounds for the Boomers yesterday in one-point loss to Group D-leading Slovenia. Baynes now leads Australia in points and rebounds with 17 and 8.5 respectively.

Baynes and Australia next play Lithuania, led by Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Matiejunas, on Tuesday.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.