MANILA (Philippines) – It certainly won’t be a walk in the park, but both Japan and the Philippines enter Gameday 5 with a shot at advancing from the group phase.
Can Japan stun Australia?
Beating the bronze medalists of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is quite the tall task. Let’s not even get started with all the personal accolades that this Boomers core has achieved. Or the fact that Japan haven’t ever advanced past the World Cup group phase.
However, there are a few things in Japan’s favor. They can make their own luck as the winner of this game is certain to join Germany in the Round of 16. They have a terrific crowd behind them. And guys like Joshua Hawkinson and Yuki Kawamura appear ready to play out of their mind.
Granted, the rosters were quite different, but Japan already pulled one upset off against Australia in the World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.
One thing is certain. Okinawa Arena will be roaring.
Do you believe in Japan’s dream?
Japan will pull off the upset.
Australia will handle their business.
Will Dominican Republic stay the course?
Group A has its own twists and turns. With group favorite Italy taken care of, the Dominican Republic are in the driver’s seat to exit the group with the first place and a 3-0 record.
Angola are more than willing to make it a nasty battle, though. Dominican Republic are no slouches on the boards, but Angola are second in the World Cup on the offensive glass with 17.5 offensive rebounds per game. They wish to start the day off with a win against Karl-Anthony Towns and company and then will root for the Philippines to advance.
Sorry, Angola, but expect the locals to cheer on the soft touch of KAT, so the Philippines would be able to advance. Gilas Pilipinas have been so close in both of their games against the Dominican Republic and Angola, yet they still have a chance. All they need after Angola’s loss is a 12-point victory over Italy.
Things could get nervous for the Azzurri, if Jordan Clarkson gets the hosts an early lead.
Who will be the most important Group A player in Gameday 5?
European centers enter the ring in Group D
Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas in one corner. Nikola Vucevic and Bojan Dubljevic in the other.
You better prepare for some old school post play. Not to mention all the other possible options for both coaching staffs.
Both European teams have secured their place in the Second Round, where USA already await for them. Might be a good idea to secure that extra win now.
Just so happens that they recently met in the European Qualifiers, with Lithuania taking both games. We imagine Montenegro will live with it, if they get the last laugh and pick up their first-ever win over Lithuania on Tuesday.
Who will come out on top in Group D?
Other storylines for August 29
• It almost doesn’t feel fair having Canada and Latvia down here, however, both of them already had their most important game so far when they took care of France. Will Latvia be the first team to keep up with the Canadian freight train?
• Can Finland spoil the party for Germany? It will take strength to get back up after the loss to Japan, yet the Finns need victories to reach the Paris 2024 Qualifiers. They can be the first team to beat Germany in the process.
• There is no shortage of talented players in the Egypt and Mexico clash, which also might prove decisive for those who want to travel to Paris.
• Poor Lebanon have to deal with a ticked off France.