At 16, 7-foot-1 Khaman Maluach 1 of youngest to play in basketball World Cup

South Sudan’s 16-year-old Khaman Maluach scored one point and played 16 minutes in his team’s 89-69 victory over China on Monday to become one of the youngest to ever play in the basketball World Cup.

The seven-foot-one Maluach, who is widely considered a 2025 NBA draft prospect, turns 17 next month. The only players younger than Maluach in World Cup history were Ivory Coast’s Georges Lath (16 years, 3 months in 1986) and China’s Gao Ailun (16 years, 9 months in 2010).

Underdogs like South Sudan and Cape Verde picked up wins Monday to stay in contention for the second round. New Zealand and Ivory Coast also stayed alive.

Five teams have already advanced to the second round: Latvia, Canada, Germany, Montenegro, and Lithuania. Eleven places are still open while Tokyo Olympic silver medalist France was knocked out on Sunday.

Chicago Bulls guard Carlik Jones scored 21 points as South Sudan beat China in Manila, Philippines to record its first-ever World Cup victory. Kuany Kuany added 16 points for South Sudan (1-1), which had the edge throughout and shot 15 of 30 from three-point range.

After a scoreless debut in the first game, Minnesota Timberwolves sixth man Kyle Anderson top-scored with 22 points for China (0-2), which lost its opener to Serbia 105-63.

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Barrett had a team-leading 17 points in a game where Canada beat Lebanon by more than 50.

South Sudan plays Serbia on Wednesday in its final group game and China faces Puerto Rico.

U.S. 109, Greece 81

Austin Reaves scored 15 points and the U.S. topped Greece 109-81 on Monday in Manila, Philippines to clinch a berth in the second round.

Jalen Brunson and Anthony Edwards each scored 13 for the Americans (2-0), who haven’t lost in seven games overall this summer. Brunson made all five of his shots, Bobby Portis had 10 points and Josh Hart grabbed 11 rebounds for the winners.

The win, combined with New Zealand’s 95-87 overtime victory over Jordan earlier Monday, clinched a second-round berth for the Americans. They’ll finish group play against Jordan on Wednesday, then play Lithuania and Montenegro — in some order — on Friday and Sunday.

Georgios Papagiannis led Greece (1-1) with 17 points.

Getting to the second round isn’t exactly a surprise for the U.S., the current tournament favourites and a team seeking a sixth World Cup gold medal.

Cape Verde 81, Venezuela 75

Betinho Gomes scored 22 and Will Tavares added 20 to lead Cape Verde (1-1) over Venezuela (0-2) in Okinawa, Japan. Ivan Almeida added 18.

Cape Verde is the lowest ranked team in the tournament, according to FIBA rankings, but they don’t look like it.

Venezuela led at the half 46-33 but was held to only 29 points in the last two quarters. David Cubillan led Venezuela with 15 and Jhornan Zamora added 14.

Cape Verde faces Slovenia on Wednesday and Georgia plays Venezuela.

New Zealand 95, Jordan 87 OT

Izayah Le’afa scored 23 points and Shea Ili added 15 in Manila as New Zealand (1-1) kept alive its hopes of reaching the second round. Jordan (0-2) faces a game Wednesday against the United States.

Rondae Hollis Jefferson hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds to go, and then made his free throw after being fouled to send the game into overtime at 85-85. Jordan was outscored 10-2 in overtime.

Former NBA player Hollis Jefferson led Jordan with 39 points and had nine rebounds. Freddy Ibrahim added 22.

New Zealand plays Greece on Wednesday for a place in the final 16

Ivory Coast 71, Iran 69

Solo Diabate made three late free throws as Ivory Coast edged Iran in Jakarta, Indonesia. With Iran leading 69-68, Diabate drove to the lane and drew a foul with six seconds left. He had an additional free throw after Iran coach Hakan Demir received a technical foul.

Nisre Zouzoua scored 17 points for Ivory Coast (1-1), who lost playmaker Bazoumana Kone to an ankle injury early in the third quarter.

Behnam Yakhchali led Iran (0-2) with 19 points but missed a three-pointer at the buzzer. Former NBA centre Hamed Haddadi had nine points and eight rebounds before fouling out late.

Ivory Coast plays Brazil on Wednesday in its final group game and Iran meets Spain.

WATCH | Ex-Canada coach Triano confident in 2023 squad:

‘I’m confident they’ll do well at FIBA World Cup’: Former Canadian men’s basketball coach Jay Triano

Former Canadian men’s basketball coach Jay Triano expresses his thoughts on the Canadian Men’s basketball team. He believes the team has the squad to go far at the FIBA World Cup and qualify for the Olympics.

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