Nestor Garcia on Karl-Anthony Towns: “He’s the best player of the tournament”

Photo: Peter Baba

The Dominican Republic star Karl-Anthony Towns faced challenges with fouls during a crucial match. Nevertheless, despite this setback, the Dominican Republic team achieved a significant milestone. They became the first team from Group A to secure a spot in the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Their advancement was marked by a hard-fought victory against Angola, culminating in a score of 75-67.

The driving force behind this triumph was Andres Feliz, who led the Caribbean team with an impressive 17-point contribution. This matchup marked a historic first encounter between these two teams, and the Dominican Republic’s success propelled them to an unbeaten 3-0 record in the group stage. In contrast, Angola’s record dropped to 1-2 following this defeat.

Notably, Karl-Anthony Towns encountered significant challenges early in the game. Within the initial four minutes of play, he accumulated three fouls, limiting his effectiveness on the court. As a result, his scoring was restricted to 8 points, and his impact was limited throughout three-quarters of the game.

“We are very happy because we finished in the first position in a tough, tough group,” Dominican Republic coach Nestor ‘Che’ Garcia said. “My players give their all. We are not just one player. He (Towns) is the leader, for me he’s the best player of the tournament.

“Also because of the way he has acted with the team. When we played without him, the team made a lot of effort. We respect Angola because they are the best offensive rebounding team here. They are very aggressive, very athletic. They want to qualify. This was a very difficult game. We are in the top 16.

“This was our first goal – try to go to the next round. And then we will see. The World Cup is very difficult. I love this guy (Towns) because he is trying to adjust to the different rules. He’s here and happy every day. My players fight. We have a big chance to step up. We have overcome a lot of situations. So I am really really happy.”

Watch the game highlights between Angola and the Dominican Republic in the First Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023:

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