By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
All eyes were on Victor Wembanyama. The promising youngster impressed in his debut with the senior national team of France.
Wembanyama, 18, started with a dunk off his own miss and went for 20 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 23 minutes as Les Bleus made short work of Lithuania, 90-65, in Panevezys Friday night. Making 6/13 field goals and sinking all of his seven free throws drew up his scoring contribution. He recorded a game-high efficiency rating of 23.
“I was not nervous at all,” said Wembanyama after his debut, “I was really hungry to get that win tonight. All of us had a lot of fun out there.”
Similar to the favorite to be selected with the first overall pick of the 2023 NBA draft, Damien Inglis made the most of his senior debut tallying 15 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Connecting 8/9 from the field, including 5/5 three-pointers, Sylvain Francisco dropped a game-high 21 points.
Backed by the dominating display on the road, France matched Lithuania at 7-2 on top of Group K of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. Avoiding defeat, the hosts would have possibly clinched a berth in this summer’s final stage. Given the standings, both countries are likely to eventually advance and thus compete in the World Cup.
At the losing end of the contest, Marek Blazevic and Eimantas Bendzius were the lone double-digit scorers logging 14 points each. The team coached by Kestutis Kemzura was heavily overpowered in the paint and limited to 7/28 from beyond the arc.
On the bottom end of FIBA’s international window, France will welcome Bosnia-Herzegovina in Pau and Lithuania will visit Montenegro in Podgorica.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL