FIBA World Cup

Towns hard on himself as Dominican loss complicates path to FIBA World Cup final phase

Delfin Dioquino

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Towns hard on himself as Dominican loss complicates path to FIBA World Cup final phase

DOWN. Karl-Anthony Towns in action for Dominican Republic against Puerto Rico in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Karl-Anthony Towns puts Dominican Republic on his back with his finest FIBA World Cup performance, but his effort goes for naught in a sorry loss to Puerto Rico

MANILA, Philippines – There is not much else to ask from Karl-Anthony Towns after he turned in his finest FIBA World Cup performance, but the NBA star feels otherwise.

Towns said he has to do better as the Dominican Republic fell 74-69 to Puerto Rico at the start of second round on Friday, September 1, for their first World Cup loss – a result that complicates their path to the final phase.

Putting the team on his back, Towns churned out 39 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but his effort went for naught as the Dominicans slipped to 3-1 and figured in a four-way tie in Group I with Serbia, Italy, and Puerto Rico.

Only the top two teams will advance to the final round.

“My guys played great. We played as a team. I got to do more. The guys were great, my teammates played great, did everything they needed to do. I got to do a little more,” said Towns.

“I’m doing this for the country, I want to give my country a win.”

Towns went berserk with 29 second-half points as he matched Jordan naturalized player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who also erupted for 39 points in the group stage, for the the highest scoring output in this World Cup.

But the Minnesota Timberwolves big man went scoreless in the final four minutes and missed the game-tying triple with 24 seconds remaining.

“I did not do my job,” said Towns. “I have to do whatever it takes to get my country a win, and obviously, I did not do enough today. My teammates were fantastic. Tough way to lose. I got to do more.”

With Towns on board, the Dominicans look to accomplish what they have not done in the history of the World Cup: reach the final phase.

But that goal does not come easy, with the Dominican Republic needing to beat European powerhouse Serbia on Sunday, September 3, to stay alive.

“We got to win every game. Every time we step on the court, we’re here to represent our country,” said Towns. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.