The FIBA World Cup reached its second group phase day in China on Tuesday, with early morning advice here in the U.S., and while Team USA was in a dogfight with Turkey, the show was stolen by Greece and Brazil.
Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa, and Bruno Caboclo resulted in Brazil to a 79-78 victory over Greece to advance to the next round, handing over Giannis Antetokounmpo and starting the tournament’s first loss. With a wonderful 22-point,9-rebound performance, Varejao resulted in all scorers, while Barbosa chipped himself in 13 points.
It was Caboclo, however, who made the critical games late in the game to preserve Brazil’s win and not allow Giannis and Greece to force overtime. With Brazil up two early, on the inbound, Greece drew up a lob game for Antetokounmpo, but Nick Calathes was late throwing the lob and Caboclo had recovered from the back screen to be able to deflect the ball away from it.
Barbosa divided two free throws to offer Greece an opportunity to go down three, and Brazil did the unthinkable, fouling a three-point shooter to send Kostas Sloukas to the free-throw line (Giannis had forced Barbosa into the line). Sloukas produced the first two free throws, but his third bounced on the edge and Caboclo took advantage of FIBA’s no goaltending regulations to create an amazing game by swimming away from the ball while considering dropping to the point of binding.
This will only reinforce supporters on either Team Goaltending or Team No Goaltending, depending on your favorite chaos brand. If the NBA embraced this rule, seeing the athletes in the league just swatting balls off the rim would be fairly unbelievable and would create some amazing drama like this on late free throws. We may never see that, but Bruno knew what to do in the FIBA contest, giving Brazil a large victory.