Led by Karl-Anthony Towns, the Dominican Republic is the early surprise team of this year’s World Cup, writes Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. The Timberwolves‘ big man posted 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists Sunday as the Dominican team took down highly ranked Italy, and he told reporters the result shouldn’t be considered a surprise.
“Was this an upset?” Towns asked. “I thought we wanted to win. We had great things in the second half, that’s what brought us the victory. We did a great job as a team, everybody down the line was amazing.”
As the only 2-0 team in Group A and one game left against Angola, the Dominican Republic is in excellent position to move past pool play. Towns may be the most recognizable player, but he’s not the team’s only weapon. Andres Feliz also scored 24 points, including seven three-pointers, while Jean Montero contributed 12 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals.
Italy is now in the unexpected position of having to defeat the host Philippines on Tuesday just to advance.
There’s more from the World Cup:
- Germany got past Australia without Magic forward Franz Wagner, who sat out the game with a “slight sprained ankle,” per Olgun Uluc of ESPN. Wagner is considered day-to-day, but the Germans opted to rest him against their toughest opponent in Group E.
- Canada enjoyed a record-setting day in its 55-point victory over Lebanon. Its 128 points were the most ever for a Canadian team, and its 43 assists set a record for a World Cup game, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet. Canada was able to rest Thunder wing Luguentz Dort, who is dealing with a minor injury, as nine players scored in double figures, adds Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link).
- Team USA has a roster filled with talented scorers, so it’s hard for everyone to get the opportunities they’re accustomed to, notes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The most glaring example so far is Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, who was limited to four shots and two points in 15 minutes in the opening game against New Zealand. “This is totally different than what I am used to,” Ingram said. “The team is winning right now, so I can’t be selfish thinking about myself. But it’s a little frustrating right now for me, and I’m just trying to figure out ways I can be effective.”