Huertas 2nd-oldest to play in FIBA World Cup; Doncic leads Slovenia; Neto out with knee injury

Brazil’s Marcelo Huertas became the second oldest to play in the basketball World Cup in Brazil’s 100-59 victory over Iran on Saturday. He scored 10 points.

Huertas is 40 years and 3 months. The only older player in tournament history was Eduardo Mingas, who was 40 years and 7 months when playing in two games for Angola at the 2019 World Cup.

Later in the tournament, one of the youngest is expected to play — South Sudan’s 7-foot-1 center Khaman Maluach is just 16.

Maluach, who is widely considered a 2025 NBA draft prospect, turns 17 next month. The only players younger than Maluach in World Cup history were Ivory Coast’s Georges Lath (16 years, 3 months in 1986) and China’s Gao Ailun (16 years, 9 months in 2010).

Maluach was on the bench in Saturday’s loss to Puerto Rico but didn’t play.

It’s the fifth World Cup for Huertas, the first of those coming in 2006, about two weeks before Maluach was born.

Only 11 players before this year had appeared in five World Cups. Huertas becomes the 12th, and later Saturday, Rudy Fernandez of defending World Cup champion Spain is set to become the 13th player on that list.

GROUP B

PUERTO RICO 101, SOUTH SUDAN 96, OT

At Manila, South Sudan’s Carlik Jones hit a 3-pointer late to send the game into overtime but Puerto Rico wound up prevailing after overcoming a 10-point halftime deficit.

Stephen Thompson Jr. led Puerto Rico with 21 points, with balanced scoring throughout the lineup. Tremont Waters had 19, George Conditt had 18 and Ismael Romero added 16.

Jones wound up with a game-high 38 points. Wenyen Gabriel added 15 for the losers.

Puerto Rico faces Serbia on Monday and South Sudan goes against China.

SERBIA 105, CHINA 63

At Manila, Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 14 points and Serbia opened its play with a comfortable victory over China.

Vanja Marinkovic also added 14 points for Serbia, which pulled away late in the first quarter before holding a 55-34 lead at the half.

Zhao Rui led China 17 points, but Minnesota’s Kyle Anderson, a newly naturalized Chinese citizen, was scoreless in 26 minutes.

Serbia shot 34 of 59 from the field, and China was 24 of 63.

GROUP F

GEORGIA 85, CAPE VERDE 60

At Okinawa, Tornike Shengala had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead Georgia over Cape Verde, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, according to FIBA’s rankings.

Georgia led 48-22 at the half was never challenged. Goga Bitadze added 15 points and Duda Sanadze had 12 for the winners.

Kenneti Mendes led Cape Verde with 11 points and Keven Gomes had 10. Cape Verde shot only 3 for 26 on 3-pointers.

Cape Verde faces Venezuela on Monday and Georgia plays Slovenia.

SLOVENIA 100, VENEZUELA 85

At Okinawa, Dallas star Luka Doncic poured in 37 points and added seven rebounds and six assists.

Mike Tobey added 21 points and Klemen Prepelic had 18 with six rebounds.

Garly Sojo topped Venezuela with 16 points and Jhornan Zamora and Heissler Guillent each had 12.

Venezuela faces Cape Verde on Monday and Slovenia is up against Georgia.

GROUP C

UNITED STATES 99, NEW ZEALAND 72

At Manila, Paolo Banchero came off the bench and led the Americans in their first game with 21 points, one of six players in double figures. The tournament favorites are hoping to bounce back from finishing seventh in this tournament four years ago in Beijing. Anthony Edwards added 14.

Reuben Te Rangi led New Zealand with 15 points.

The Americans face Greece on Monday and New Zealand plays Jordan.

GREECE 92, JORDAN 71

At Manila, Giannoulis Larentzakis led Greece with 19 and Ioannis Papapetrou and Thomas Walkup each added 13 for the winners.

Jordan’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led his team with 24 points and nine rebounds. Ahmad Dwairi added 14 with nine rebounds.

GROUP G

SPAIN 94, IVORY COAST 64

At Jakarta, Willy Hernangomez scored 22 points and got defending champion Spain, the No. 1 team in the FIBA rankings, off to a winning start in its first game of the World Cup. His brother Juancho had 11 points.

Bazoumana Kone led Ivory Coast with 11 points and Jean Philippe Dalley added 10 points.

Spain faces Brazil on Monday and Ivory Coast gets Iran.

BRAZIL 100, IRAN 59

Former NBA player Raul Neto’s World Cup tournament for Brazil ended when he ruptured his right patella tendon.

Neto collapsed to the court in the third quarter after slipping in transition. Several of his teammates were in tears and the incident stopped play for several minutes.

Neto, who had eight points and five steals, recently signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce after eight seasons in the NBA.

Former NBA player Bruno Caboclo had 16 points for Brazil, which led 33-12 after the first quarter. Matin Aghajanpour led Iran with 11 points.

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