2019 FIBA World Cup Day 5: Chimezie Metu, Marco Belinelli


Though his team had already been eliminated from advancing in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Chimezie Metu helped his team earn their first win at the World Cup with a 108-66 rout of Korea. Marco Belinelli and Italy had already qualified for the second round, but Italy lost their first game in group play with a 92-77 loss to Spurs draftee Nikola Milutinov and Serbia. Here’s what took place Wednesday on the fifth day of the FIBA World Cup from a Spurs focus.

Metu gets the three-ball going vs Korea

Though it was mostly a blow out, Metu had his best scoring performance in the World Cup Wednesday, finishing with 15 points (5/10 shooting), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, and 1 block in 20 minutes of play against Korea. Metu was on fire from long range, where he drilled 3 of his 4 three-point attempts. Here is a quarter-by-quarter log of his play.

First Quarter – Metu entered with 5 minutes left in the quarter. In the post on a possession, he finished with a left-handed jump hook after putting the ball on the floor.

Second Quarter – Metu didn’t play any minutes in the quarter, but that was the quarter where Nigeria opened the game up, winning the quarter 32-16.

Third Quarter – When Metu finally checked in with 4:17 left in the third, Nigeria already led 65-39. On one possession, Metu tried to drive in with a spin move from the outside and he missed the jump hook. He made an open spot-up three without hesitation on another play. On the following possession with time winding down, Metu wanted another look from three and when the ball made its way to him, he drilled the shot. You can see all three of Metu’s made threes in the game in the thread below.

Fourth Quarter – On one of his first possessions of the quarter, his teammates set an off-ball screen to get him free for an open look from three, but he missed the shot. He got a block in transition as his opponent was trying to drive by him for a layup on a defensive possession. On an offensive possession, he went 1-on-1 near halfcourt and got all the way to the rim, but he missed the layup. On a separate possession, he made a layup in the open court against his defender. He missed a face-up jump shot in the post on another play. His final made three came when his defender left him open, so he waited and then took the open three. On his final scoring possession, he took the ball coast-to-coast and got fouled on the layup attempt. He then made both free throws.

Nigeria finishes with a 1-2 record in group play and they’ll now move on to the classification round with a game against Cote d’Ivoire on Friday.

Belinelli, Italy fall to Milutinov and Serbia

Belinelli was Italy’s second leading scorer Wednesday with 15 points (5/9 shooting), 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 34 minutes. Italy finished group play with a 2-1 record. They’ll now face Spain in the second round Friday.

Milutinov finished with 4 points in 12 minutes Wednesday. Serbia finished group play with a perfect 3-0 record. Their second-round opponent will be Puerto Rico on Friday.


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