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Who were the top players and teams from each continent at the World Cup?
BEIJING (China) - The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 confetti has been cleaned up and final pictures have been taken. But before the focus shifts to the club competitions, Continental Cups, the 2020 Olympics and the 2023 World Cup, let's take a look back at the top performers in China, continent by continent.
Top national team: Nigeria. Being the top national team on this list is small consolation for Alexander Nwora's side, but the D'Tigers fell well short of the lofty goals they had set for themselves. Many thought they would reach the Second Round, but in the end they could not place ahead of Argentina and Russia in Group B. They did earn direct qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the best-placed African team.
Top scorer: Salah Mejri, Tunisia. The big man was 18th overall at 16.2 points a game while ranking third in rebounds (10.2 rebounds per game) and the tournament's blocks leader with 3.2 swats per game. Mejri also ranked third in efficiency at 25.2 per game.
Youth standout: Josh Okogie, Nigeria. The former USA youth national team player was Nigeria's star with 12.6 points, 4.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks - all that as a 21-year-old.
Other top performances: Senegal center Youssoupha Ndoye had two double-doubles in averaging 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds to go with 1.4 blocks while Tunisia's Makram Ben Romdhane collected 13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals including flirting with a triple-double of 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists against Angola.
Top national team: Argentina. The South Americans surprised many in the tournament by going all the way to the title game. They were undefeated all the way to the Final, knocking out European powerhouses Serbia and France along the way. The Spanish challenge in the Final proved too much for the Luis Scola and Facundo Campazzo-led Argentinians.
Top scorer: Luis Scola, Argentina. The five-time World Cup veteran was the guiding force for the surprising South Americans in reaching the Final and averaged 17.9 points a game and 8.1 rebounds en route to being named on the All-Star Five.
Youth standout: Andrew Nembhard, Canada. The 19-year-old did not play much in the First Round but he was allowed to show what he can do in the Classification Round 17-32, picking up a combined 9 points with 9 assists and 1 turnover in 34 minutes against Jordan and Germany.
Other top performances: Facundo Campazzo had an argument for the All-Star Five as the point guard averaged 13.3 points, 7.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals in helping Argentina to the Final. Also, despite United States disappointingly finishing seventh, Donovan Mitchell collected 13.1 points with a 5.0/1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio and 4.3 rebounds per game. And one other strong showing was Heissler Guillent helping Venezuela into the Second Round by picking up 13.0 points, 6.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds.
Top national team: Australia. The Oceania powerhouse clinched their best-ever performance in World Cup history by finishing fourth, though they will be disappointed about missing out on a first-ever podium at a global senior event.
Top scorer: Ra GunA, Korea. The Korean big man led the tournament in scoring (23.0 points) and rebounds (12.8) while also collecting 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks.
Youth standout: Rui Hachimura, Japan: The 21-year-old played only the First Round but he was Japan's main weapon, averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals. He was held to 4 points against United States after scoring 36 points in the first two games.
Other top performances: Patty Mills was outstanding all tournament long to help Australia reach the Semi-Finals with 22.8 points, 3.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game while New Zealand's Corey Webster also had a strong campaign, collecting 22.8 points per game to go with averages of 5.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds. One more mention is Andray Blatche, who led Philippines in scoring (15.8 points per game), rebounds (8.4 rebounds per game), assists (3.4 assists per game) steals (2.4 steals per game) and blocks (0.6 blocks per game).
Top national team: Spain. The Spanish were not one of the leading challengers for the titles in many observers' eyes but Sergio Scariolo rode his veteran leaders Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and Sergio Lllull to the country's second cup following 2006. Interestingly enough, they also won the first one in Asia at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2006 in Japan.
Top scorer: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia. The guard made the All-Star Five in helping Serbia to fifth place as the second-leading scorer with 22.9 points a game. He also averaged 4.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while knocking down 53 percent of his three-pointers.
Youth standout: Frank Ntilikina, France: The 21-year-old impressed his teammates with his leadership at times, not to mention his great defense. He averaged 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 19.5 minutes per contest. He scored 11 points in the Quarter-Finals against United States and then 16 points in the Semi-Finals versus Argentina.
Other top performances: It's hard not to put Ricky Rubio in here as the point guard won MVP honors in carrying Spain to the title with 16.4 points, 6.0 assists. 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Also, Spanish center Marc Gasol had 14.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Joining Bogdanovic, Rubio and Gasol on the All-Star Five was France's Evan Fournier, who scored 19.8 points a game while his compatriot Rudy Gobert had 10.1 points, a fourth-best 9.1 rebounds and second-best 1.9 blocks. How could you not list Tomas Satoransky, as he guided Czech Republic to sixth place with 15.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds. And one more mention, Germany's Dennis Schroder did lead the tournament in assists and was eighth in scoring despite a disappointing campaign for the Germans.