Frank Ntilikina (France) and Luca Vildoza (Argentina) in quarter-finals – .

Frank Ntilikina (France) and Luca Vildoza (Argentina) in quarter-finals – .

The group stage of the men’s Olympic basketball tournament ended this weekend with Argentina claiming one of the last places in the quarter-finals with a 97-77 victory over Japan. The margin of victory was crucial for Argentina (1-2) as they clinched the spot over the other teams to a win on the basis of a points differential.

New Knick Luca Vildoza, who hasn’t really impressed in the tournament so far, played a solid game, with 7 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 1 interception. The Argentines topped Japan in their 25:28 from the field, posting a plus-18. There were even a few highlights.

Argentina will face unbeaten Australia in the quarter-finals. Luca will have to do his best.

France enjoyed a much more successful run through the group stages, going 3-0, including a surprise win over Team USA. Unfortunately, Frank Ntilikina missed the first two games with a leg injury. But the French prince returned for his last game against Iran.

Frank had a fairly straightforward game on his return to action: 3 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds in 19 minutes. His teammate Evan Fournier mentioned that it is important to get Frank back for future clashes as he can use his length to disturb players like Luka Doncic. Obviously, Frank’s reputation as Luka’s killer precedes him.

France will face Italy in the quarter-finals. All quarterfinal matches will take place on Tuesday Japanese time. My rudimentary time zone skills tell me that France-Italy will tip at 4:20 PM EST and Argentina-Australia will tip at 8:00 PM EST. Please feel free to correct me in the comments.


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