Karl-Anthony Towns Dominates in Dominican Republic’s World Cup Opener


Karl-Anthony Towns’ first official 2023 FIBA World Cup game wasn’t played in the most friendly of environments on Friday when he led his Dominican Republic squad vs the hometown Philippines, who packed 40,000 fans into Philippine Arena in Manila.

But KAT appeared unphased as he dropped 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 87-81 Dominican victory. He only made 1/5 three-pointers but hit 14/15 free throws and showed off his impressive ability to get to the rim with the dribble drive from the top of the key.

Karl-Anthony Towns means everything to the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic will rely heavily on Karl-Anthony Towns, the only NBA starter on their team . On Friday, was their only player to score over 20 points and just one of three to score in double-digits.

It was a big win to start the tournament but Towns will have to play even better if he wants to lead the Dominican out of group play. 14 of his 26 points were from the line. He shot just 20% from the three-point line and 31% (5/16) from the field.

The Dominican Republic will play their second game in group play on Sunday at 3AM CT, vs Italy. Anthony Edwards will lead Team USA in their first 2023 World Cup matchup on Saturday at 7:40 AM CT, vs New Zealand.

Rudy Gobert’s France squad was blown out by 30 points in their opening game on Friday vs Canada. Gobert scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Nickeil Alexander-Walker plays for Canada. He played 20 minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing 2 rebounds in the win.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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