25 August, 2023
10 September
23 Lauri Markkanen (FIN)
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August 31 Top Performers: Saoud, Cruz, Markkanen, Spellman, Jaimes

MANILA (PHILIPPINES) - Five new names and five awesome performances is what we have in store for you for the newest edition of daily Top Performers in the FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup.

It takes a whole lot to stop a team that goes 16-of-32 from three-point range as did Lebanon and Amir Saoud in their 94-84 victory over Cote d'Ivoire. Saoud was the man mainly responsible for that piece of hot shooting with his 6-of-13 performance from long range. The guard not only delivered 29 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds, but also gave an inspirational speech afterwards about an unlikely recovery from an injury just to participate in the World Cup for Lebanon.

Pako Cruz has been playing very solid basketball all World Cup long, so it's only much deserved that he got onto The Performers list after Mexico's first win of the tournament. They came out on top in a 108-100 victory against New Zealand. Cruz doubled the amount of three-pointers he had made in this tournament with a 27-point, 5-assist and 4-rebound game that saw him go 6-of-9 from three-point range.

Lauri Markkanen was another player to record two first's in this World Cup. Finland managed to triumph against Cape Verde in a 100-77 affair, while Markkanen bounced back from a somewhat quiet game against Germany. The Finnisher had himself a personal-high in a single World Cup game with 34 points, 9 rebounds and also blocked 2 shots. His performance was primarily based on awesome 10-of-13 shooting from two-point range.

Saoud was pretty darn good, but Lebanon also needed every ounce of Omari Spellman's game. After having efficient shooting games all First Round long, Spellman increased the amount of his attempts and finished the contest with 25 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. Of course, there just had to be 5-of-9 shooting from downtown, which included one especially clutch three-pointer.

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For a moment there it seemed like Fabian Jaimes was about to do his own corrections to the Triple-Double watch. The power forward ultimately needed a few more assists, but that doesn't take away anything from his statline of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, which included an energetic 6 boards on the offensive glass. We'll gladly accept any new Triple-Double applications from Jaimes, though!

This might be a tough one. Who has the edge, in your opinion?