So far, and due to some slightly surprising results, the Basketball World Cup has been going normally since that practically every favourite of the first group stage have advanced onto the 2nd. However, now things will start to get trickier for some sides…
2nd stage of the Basketball World Cup will have the first important eliminations: North Americans already trembled
Despite having won their 3 initial matches on the competition, the truth is that the team led by the charismatic Gregg Popovych caught a big scare on the 2nd encounter, being forced to play an Overtime against Turkey on marginal victory by 93-92.
Naturally, that wasn’t expected to happen, but it might actually have been something beneficial for them, to sound the alarm within the team that there won’t be easy matches, especially from now on.
The United States are now in Group K with the company of Brazil, Czech Republic and Greece and they are facing the team of Giannis Antetokounmpo this Saturday already, on a duel where they will need to be fully focused to avoid any upsets.
— FIBA (@FIBA) September 6, 2019
The North Americans are favourites for the match, with odds of 1.21 on Bet365, and they intend to leave Greece on a delicate situation after their loss against Brazil on the previous stage, that way starting off this stage on a disadvantage to the Americans and Brazilians.
A victory for the Greeks is priced at 3.56 and will require a great exhibition from their star of the Milwaukee Bucks.
On the other hand, no one will know the qualities of Giannis Antetokounmpo better than his usual rivals of the NBA.
however, they have suffered a slight increase after the difficulties shown by the team on the 2nd encounter, as well as the solidity of the Serbian side so far.
Serbians have already shown what they are there for
Before the start of the tournament in Chinese soil, a lot of people pointed Serbia as the main threat to the North American dominance and after the 1st stage of the competition, that idea gained some strength.
The Serbians have run over Angola and Philippines on their first 2 matches, but it was against Italy that they’ve shown their true value, winning by clear 92-77 on their first real test in the competition.
With Nikola Jokic, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Milos Teodosic leading the team from the Balkans, it won’t be easy to stop them and they are expected to appear on the decisive moments of the competition in order to try and counter the favouritism of the team that travelled from North America.
Serbia has odds of 2.50 to win the World Cup on Bet365 and the truth is that their odds have already gone down throughout the competition, on a clear demonstration of respect from the bookmakers for this strong side.
Spain keeps waiting for the decisive moments
Spain also has only victories on the competition and they certainly still have the ambition of winning the 2019 World Cup.
With Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol leading the fates of the team, this is a very solid and experienced side that, inevitably, should be amongst the best teams at the end of the tournament.
But will they have skill and composure to surprise Serbia or the United States? The first answer will appear on Sunday already at 13:30 when they face Serbia on a match of the Group J.
At stake, should be the first place of that group and consequently an easier draw on the quarterfinals.
Right now, the Serbians are leading the market to win the Group J with low odds of 1.18, while the Spaniards are at around 3.20 on other bookmakers.
Giannis with a difficult task
The Greek national team was one of the highest rated teams before the start of the tournament due to the presence of the NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, but as we could see on their loss against Brazil, when there is only 1 real threat on a team, that threat tends to be the target of more fierce marking from the rivals, that way compromising their influence on the match.
The Greeks are at serious difficulties to be able to advance beyond this 2nd stage, and they will have to win the next 2 encounters against United States and Czech Republic or hope for a favourable combination of results in case they win only 1 of them.
This way, Giannis will have to step up against the North Americans this Saturday already, but will Greece have collective arguments to stop a North American side that is very balanced in terms of quality and that tends to rotate the team throughout the match without losing quality?
It will be hard for Giannis and company, and the Greeks might very well be on their way home…