Goran Dragic called out Australia for intentionally losing its final group game of the World Cup, trying to avoid Team USA early in the quarterfinals.
FIBA thinks Dragic might have been onto something.
FIBA has announced it is opening disciplinary proceedings against Australia following the manner in which the team lost its last Group D game against Angola, 91-83, in Gran Canaria last Thursday.
The on-court behaviour displayed by Australia in that game generated huge disappointment by basketball fans and experts. It is widely suspected that Australia lost that game in order to avoid having to face the reigning world champions USA until the Semi-Finals.
Basketball Australia has an opportunity to state its case before FIBA decides whether and to what extent disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed.
I hope FIBA isn’t wasting on its brightest minds on the question, Did Australia throw its game against Angola?
Of course Australia threw its game against Angola!
The better question: Why does FIBA have a set up that is so likely to create scenarios where intentionally losing is the best course of action?
I don’t know how Australia will defend itself. I doubt FIBA is interested in the truth – that the organization charged with putting on the World Cup has serious formatting issues. Probably better to make up something about fatigue.
By the way, the Aussies’ plan worked. They avoided the U.S. in the quarterfinals – losing to Turkey in the round of 16.