Armenian Men’s Team Currently First in Group A
YEREVAN (FIBA)—Ryan Boatright kept Armenia’s ship steady in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Basketball World Cup 2019 European Pre-Qualifiers, notching up a second win in Group A with an excellent performance against Sweden at the Mika Sport Complex in Yerevan on Aug. 5.
After getting its campaign off to a positive note against Slovak Republic, the Niksa Bavcevic-coached Armenia improved to a 2-0 mark with an 82-69 victory, with Boatright scoring 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field to lead the Armenian men. Andrew Chrabaszcz collected 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Lucas Fischer chipped in with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Marcus Eriksson had a team-high 15 points for the visitors from Sweden.
“You know all about the prowess of Turkey, Georgia and Iran when it comes to basketball, so Armenia, fueled by their American connection, is poised to become the latest in the region to make waves in the sport. If Armenia keep up the excellent play and do finish in the top two of Group A, they’ll create a tidal wave of sorts, with the World Cup Qualifiers hopes of at least two other teams going under,” wrote European basketball columnist Jeff Taylor in his column for FIBA.
According to Taylor, 11 of the 19 players called up to the preliminary squad were born in the United States. “The stars of the team so far have been a naturalized point guard, Ryan Boatright, and Americans of Armenian extraction,” Taylor wrote.
Armenia won the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries last year. If it finishes in the top 2 of a four-team Group A in the Pre-Qualifiers, the team will play in the World Cup European Qualifiers that tip-off in November.