Gonzaga sophomores Filip Petrusev and Joel Ayayi helped their respective teams to victories Sunday at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece.
Petrusev scored 23 points for the second consecutive game and grabbed 10 rebounds in Serbia’s 75-74 win over Puerto Rico. Petrusev has made 17 of 21 from the field in two games. Julian Strawther, a 2020 Gonzaga commit, led Puerto Rico with 22 points on 9-of-22 shooting. He had six rebounds.
Ayayi had 10 points, six rebounds and five steals in France’s 119-56 rout over China. Ayayi made all five of his 2-point attempts.
France (2-0) and Serbia (2-0) meet Tuesday – Monday is an off day for all 16 teams – to determine the winner of Group D. Serbia defeated France 78-67 in the semifinals of the FIBA U18 European Championships last summer.
“We’ve had a year together as teammates,” Ayayi told Fiba.basketball. “It’s pretty cool to play your teammate at a World Cup. We have both gotten a lot better.”
“Me and Joel are always talking trash to each other, so it’s going to be fun,” Petrusev said.
Mali improved to 2-0 with a 71-70 upset over defending champion Canada. Mali’s Oumar Ballo, who will be an incoming freshman at Gonzaga, didn’t play for the second straight game.
“Just made it to Greece,” the 6-foot-10 center posted Sunday on Instagram. “God knows how bad I wanted to start this competition since the day 1. I’ll be available for our next game against Australia. Time to make history.”
Incoming Gonzaga freshman Martynas Arlauskas finished with seven points and four boards in 21 minutes in Lithuania’s 102-84 loss to the United States. The 6-foot-6 wing was 1 of 4 from the field but made all four free throw attempts.
Jalen Suggs, a standout class of 2020 guard being recruited by Gonzaga, had two points, two rebounds and two steals for the U.S.
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