FIBA World Cup

Towns says confidence never wavered as Dominican Republic stuns Italy

Delfin Dioquino

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Towns says confidence never wavered as Dominican Republic stuns Italy

BIG KAT. Karl-Anthony Towns in action for Dominican Republic against Italy in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Karl-Anthony Towns and Dominican Republic seize solo lead in Group A of the FIBA World Cup after pulling off an upset win over world No. 10 Italy

MANILA, Philippines – Karl-Anthony Towns always believed.

Towns said he had complete faith in his squad as the Dominican Republic pulled off an early upset in the FIBA World Cup, hacking out an 87-82 win over powerhouse Italy in Group A at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, October 27.

“My confidence never wears. My confidence never wears in my country. I know we can do anything we set our minds to. Just got to put the work in,” said the Minnesota Timberwolves big man.

The highest-ranked team in Group A, the world No. 10 Azzurri stamped their class early as they jumped to a sizzling 12-0 start.

But the Dominicans turned the tides and even led by as many as 17 points thanks to a pair of scintillating performances from Towns and guard Andres Feliz.

Feliz caught fire with seven three-pointers and finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Towns churned out 24 points with 11 rebounds and 5 assists.

Dominican Republic also proved steady in the endgame, warding off the Italians’ comeback as Golden State Warriors guard Lester Quiñones sank the win-sealing free throws.

“We did a great job playing together. Just keep doing what we’re doing. It seems to be working in this first two games,” said Towns, who showed the way in their 87-81 win over Gilas Pilipinas on Friday.

Hiking their record to 2-0, the Dominicans seized the solo lead in Group A and put themselves in prime position to advance to the second round.

“Our country has been yearning for these wins and I’m glad that we’re able to bring it to them,” said Towns.

Dominican Republic shoots for a Group A sweep as it battles Angola on Tuesday, August 29, at the same venue. –

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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.