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25 August, 2023
10 September
Josh Giddey _ AUS
26/08/2023
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Will we see the first ever World Cup triple-double this year?

OKINAWA (Japan) - Josh Giddey wasted no time showcasing his versatility as he put on a sterling FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 debut, Friday night.

Back with the team after two years, the 20-year-old sensation flirted with a triple-double to the tune of 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists in a little over 25 minutes to star in the Boomers' 98-72 conquest of Lauri Markkanen and Finland in the Group E opener.

 

He has joined an elite company by finishing with that stat line, becoming just the second player in the 21st century to combine for more than 10 points, more than 5 rebounds, and more than 5 assists in their first-ever World Cup game.

 

 

The first one? LeBron James in 2006.

"I had no idea," said Giddey, when informed about the achievement. "But, as I always say, it's cool to be in company with guys like that."

"But it's always about the group, it's always about the team. We're lucky to have a deep, 12-man team. I play great, I play bad, what matters is we win the game. We did that tonight. That's what makes me happy," added the 2.03 M (6' 8") floor general.

Impressive for someone who needed some time to readjust to the FIBA style of play, which he last experienced when he played for one game in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers versus Hong Kong.

"It's obviously a different style of play to the NBA. So, it was good to get those warm-up games," said Giddey, who averaged 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in the Boomers versus the World tune-up series.

"I haven't played in this setting before, so just to adjust to the rules and the game style was good, and I needed it."

Friday night showed how well he has adjusted, in the process becoming one of the players who could possibly become the very first to notch a triple-double in the World Cup.

No one has ever accomplished that rare statistical feat in FIBA's flagship event. Two players did come close in 2019, though. Joe Ingles had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists for Australia against Senegal, while Germany's Dennis Schroder came through with 21-10-9 against Canada.

But it isn't just Giddey who could do so, as the World Cup opener also witnessed other players show their potential to place themselves in history books.

Giddey's Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, for one, tallied 27 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists - he garnered an efficiency rating of 36, too - to power Canada's stunning 95-65 decimation of early favorites France over at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta.

Jordan Clarkson made a strong case, too. The Utah Jazz guard finished with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, albeit in a losing cause as the Philippines dropped a close one against Karl Anthony Towns and the Dominican Republic, 87-81, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

And then there's Luka Doncic who is also a threat to get a triple-double in any game he plays at any level.

So will we witness the first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup triple-double this year? Let us know what you think.

FIBA