FIBA investigating whether Australia tanked to avoid Team USA
FIBA has opened an investigation into Australia to determine if the team purposely lost its World Cup group play game against Angola, FIBA announced Monday.
The governing body said it is "widely suspected" that Australia threw the game last Thursday to avoid playing Team USA until late in the knockout stage of the tournament. By losing to Angola, Australia took third in Group D, meaning the team wouldn't play the U.S. until a possible semifinal matchup.
Group D champion Slovenia plays Team USA in the quarterfinals Tuesday.
FIBA is basing its probe on Australia's on-court behavior in its 91-83 loss to Angola, which it said "generated huge disappointment." Slovenia star Goran Dragic accused Australia of "fixing" the game after the team appeared to play extremely passive on offense and defense, though Australia coach Andrej Lemanis denied the accusation.
Australia defeated all other opponents in group play except for Slovenia, while Angola went 1-3 before facing Australia. The Aussies were eliminated from the tournament after losing to Turkey 65-64 on Sunday in the Round of 16.
Australia will have a chance to present a defense before FIBA rules on any potential discipline.
- Ben Estes