2019 FIBA World Cup Day 3: Chimezie Metu, Marco Belinelli

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On Monday, San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli (Italy) and Spurs draftee Nikola Milutinov (Serbia) officially punched their ticket to the second round of the FIBA World Cup with each of their teams earning fairly easy victories against their opponents. For Spurs forward Chimezie Metu and Nigeria, they won’t be advancing to the second round after suffering another close loss, this time to a veteran Argentina squad.

Observations on Metu vs Argentina

Metu once again came off the bench for Nigeria playing primarily the 4. He finished with 9 points (3/4 shooting), 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers, and 1 steal in his 20 minutes of play. Here is a quarter-by-quarter log of his play in the game.

First Quarter – Metu came off the bench midway through the first quarter. On one of his first scoring possessions, he set a pick and popped out to three. When the ball was thrown to him, he used a jab step move and nailed the three. You can see the made basket below. He recorded a block on help defense when the opponent drove in past his teammate. On another defensive possession, he helped in too far, which allowed his man to make an open jump hook.

Second Quarter – Metu entered with three minutes left in the quarter. He collected a block with help defense on dribble penetration from the outside. He had trouble guarding former Spur Pato Garino when he was matched up with him at the 3. On offense, he recorded a turnover trying to work in the post on the face-up move. On a defensive possession in the quarter, he lost his man on help defense and the person he was guarding drilled an open corner three. Later in the quarter, he swatted a drive from Garino with help defense.

Third Quarter – Metu logged about five minutes off the bench in this quarter. One play that won’t show up in the box score is when he dished a pass backdoor to a cutting teammate who got fouled. On offense, he tried to put the ball on the floor near the free throw line, but he got called for charging when initiating the drive. He got fouled in the halfcourt and made both free throws on another possession.

Fourth Quarter – Metu played the final six minutes of the quarter to close out the game. He finished an open dunk by slipping backdoor behind the defense on dribble penetration by a teammate on one possession. On another possession, he caught the ball on a pick and then he got stripped right under the basket. His final scoring play was when he finished a two-handed dunk on the break.

Nigeria is now 0-2 and their final group game will take place Wednesday against Korea. After that game, they’ll have participate in the classification round with all the other teams that didn’t qualify for the second round.

Belinelli leads Italy to victory over Angola

Marco Belinelli led Italy to a 92-61 victory over Angola Monday. Belinelli finished as his team’s leading scorer, providing 17 points (5/12 shooting), 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and one assist in 20 minutes of action. Italy remains undefeated at 2-0 and their final game of the first round will take place Wednesday against powerhouse Serbia. By going 2-0, Italy has already qualified to move onto the second round of the World Cup.

Milutinov, Serbia demolish the Philippines

As mentioned above, Serbia is considered to be one of the powerhouses of the tournament. They continued that dominance Monday by demolishing the Philippines 126-67. Spurs draftee Nikola Milutinov finished the game with 10 points (4/4 shooting) and two rebounds in 12 minutes. Serbia now 2-0 will face Italy Wednesday before moving onto the second round of the World Cup.

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