Markkanen Goes Off In Finland’s First Win At World Cup

Aug 31, 2023, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:27 pm

Lauri Markkanen #23 of Finland shoots a free throw during the FIBA Basketball World Cup Classificat...

Lauri Markkanen #23 of Finland shoots a free throw during the FIBA Basketball World Cup Classification 17-32 Group O game between Cape Verde and Finland at Okinawa Arena on August 31, 2023 in Okinawa, Japan. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Lauri Markkanen had a big performance as Finland won its first game at the FIBA World Cup.

Though the Finnish National Team has already been eliminated from the round of 16 tournament to crown the eventual champ, they’re competing in the classification rounds which will help decide the final qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Facing Cape Verde, Markkanen scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds on 12-19 shooting.

Finland easily captured the 100-77 win, marking their first victory in four tries at the World Cup.

Clarkson, Philippines Fall To 0-4 At FIBA World Cup

Jordan Clarkson and the Philippines remained winless in front of their home crowd as the host country fell to South Sudan 87-66.

Clarkson scored 24 points, grabbed four rebounds, and dished out three assists while shooting 9-23 in the loss.

Only five of the 12 players who saw the floor for the Philippines scored, and the seven players who failed to record a point shot a combined 0-17 from the floor.

Finland, Philippines Retake Floor Saturday

Markkanen and Clarkson will see the floor again on Saturday as both Finland and the Philippines are in action on Saturday morning.

Finland will face winless Venezuela at 1:15 a.m. MST. 

The Philippines will face 1-3 China at 5:45 a.m. MST. 

Both games can be found on ESPN+.

Walker Kessler, Team USA Open Round Of 16 Friday

After his eight point, one rebound, three block performance in a win over Jordan, Walker Kessler and Team USA will carry their undefeated record into the round of 16 which begins Friday.

Team USA is the top seed in Group J featuring Latvia, Montenegro, and Greece.

Here’s a look at Team USA’s schedule for the round of 16.

Friday, September 1 vs. Montenegro: 2:30 a.m. MST on ESPN2
Sunday, September 3 vs. Lithuania: 6:30 a.m. MST on ESPN2

Olynyk, Fontecchio Also Make Round Of 16

Both Kelly Olynyk and Simone Fontecchio also helped carry their national squads through to the round of 16.

Olynyk’s Canadian team went undefeated during group play, while Fontecchio’s Italian roster went 2-1.

Here’s a look at Canada’s round of 16 schedule.

Friday, September 1 vs. Brazil: 7:15 a.m. MST on ESPN+
Sunday, September 3 vs. Spain: 7:15 a.m. MST on ESPN+

The Italians will also play two games in hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals.

Friday, September 1 vs. Serbia: 1:45 a.m. MST on ESPN+
Sunday, September 3 vs. Puerto Rico: 1:45 a.m. MST on ESPN+

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Markkanen Goes Off In Finland’s First Win At World Cup