• African teams lose openers at the World championships as France upset Spain
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  • Angola’s Joaquim GomesAngola’s Joaquim Gomes
Aug 29, 2010-

Hosts Turkey got off to a dream start at the 2010 FIBA World Championship on Saturday scoring the game’s first 14 points on four three-pointers and a dunk on their way to an 86-47 win over the Ivory Coast in Ankara.

Meanwhile, France scored the shock result of the day as they overcame a slow start to beat defending champions Spain 72-66 in Izmir behind 16 points and six rebounds by Mickael Gelabale, who had not played in a major international competition since the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.

In Istanbul, the USA pulled away from Croatia in the second quarter to record a comfortable 106-78 win but will hope to improve on their free-throw shooting performance (12 of 22) in the coming games.

Greece opened the day’s play in Ankara by surviving China’s second half rally to take an 89-81 victory behind 42 combined points by Ioannis Bourousis and Nikos Zisis.

In other matches, Australia played from behind throughout, but did just enough in the end to avoid an upset, edging out Jordan 76-75 as Serbia thrashed Angola 94-44 despite being without star players and Argentina survived a fourth quarter rally by Germany to edge them out 78-74, all that action in Group A. In Group B,Slovenia used some balance scoring to get the better of Tunisia 80-56 while Brazil saw off Iran 81-65.

Russia pulled away in the final frame to shake off Puerto Rico 75-66 in Group C .

Group D action saw Lithuania overcame a 37-point explosion by Kirk Penney to beat New Zealand 92-79.  Lebanon scored a surprise and important victory, getting the better of Canada 81-71.


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