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Ilyasova Shining at FIBA World Cup

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Good news Bucks fans: Ersan Ilyasova is having a great start to the FIBA World Cup! The Bucks big man has been taking on an expanded role with the Turkish national team in the 2019 World Cup in China. The Turkish national team only features two other NBA players; Cedi Osman of the Cavs and Furkan Korkmaz of the 76ers. So, it’s no wonder that Ersan will have to be the team’s primary option.

When thinking about what a bigger role for Ersan might be, people may think along the lines of 10 boards and 12-14 points. However, the Turkish Thunder has gone above and beyond. In Tuesday morning’s game against the U.S. National Team, Ersan dropped a stat line of: 23 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. What a game!

 

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Led the game in points and rebounds!!

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Turkey lost the game in overtime, as Khris Middleton nailed two free throws to put the U.S. on top 93-92 (not a bad day to be a Milwaukee Buck). Without Ersan’s effort, Turkey probably would’ve been blown out by the likes of Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton and the rest of the U.S. National Team.

Currently, Ilyasova finished the group stage tied for 21st in scoring at 16.0 points per game and fifth in rebounds, with an average of 9.3 per game. If he continues to average a double-double, as he is now, Turkey could make a push in the second round and knockout stage of the World Cup. They should finish second in Group E, which would put them in a power pool with the U.S. and the top two teams from Group F (Greece’s group).

With Turkey’s loss to Czech Republic on Thursday, they missed out on playing against USA and Greece in the next round. However, Ersan showed great promise of what he can provide the Bucks this upcoming season in Milwaukee.

Other Notables from TUR vs USA

Cedi Osman (TUR): 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists

Khris Middleton (USA): 15 points, 2 rebounds

Kemba Walker: 14 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds

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