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Towns laughs off dismal performance

Karl-Anthony Towns takes a backseat on offense anew. (Photo from FIBA)

Karl-Anthony Towns could only joke about his time spent on the bench due to foul trouble instead of sweating it out with the rest of his Dominican Republic crew against a determined Angola side.

Good thing his teammates stepped up while he was out of action as the Dominicans downed Angola, 75-67, to complete a sweep of Group A of the FIBA Basketball World Cup yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“What early parts? I didn’t have any parts,” Towns jested, drawing laughter from the media at the mixed zone.

“We fought through adversity. You know it’s all about winning,” Towns who was able to finish the game despite four fouls added.

“It’s about winning basketball. I knew when my moment would come when I needed to step up and make the shots and do what I needed to do I would do it.”

Towns finished with his tournament-low eight points after averaging 25 points in the first two games.

He drilled his first basket in the third quarter, sinking a triple with 9:02 left.

Then, he picked his fourth foul 17 seconds later.

“I thought I was gonna start the third and things happened. In the fourth quarter, I felt that I had to do my job and close the game out. I’m glad I was able to help,” Towns, a three-time National Basketball Association All-Star, said.

Towns was rendered helpless in the first three quarters after drawing four fouls in a combined five minutes of action.

The Minnesota Timberwolves big man got whistled with three quick fouls right in the first quarter with the last two coming off a shooting and a technical for resentment to a call.

Dominican Republic head coach Nestor “Che” Garcia had to pull out Towns with 6:09 left and the game tied.

He sat out the whole second quarter and was just in for a minute in the third.

But Towns made his fourth quarter count as he kept himself from drawing another foul and even completed a crucial three-point play with 5:43 remaining in the game that gave the Dominican Republic a 63-57 lead.

“I mean, I thought, I just kept telling myself this is a great game to work on your mental and your focus. I had a lot of adversity thrown at me. I just wanted to work on myself,” Towns said.

“This is a great time to work on yourself and why not today of all days where we could give our country, make some history and give our country to be in the second round,” he added.
“I kept my cool, kept my composure. I knew my moment would come where I needed to hit a shot and be the player I was supposed to be.”

Angola had it worse with Atlanta Hawks forward Bruno Fernando fouling out with 5:13 remaining in the payoff period. Fernando had 13 points.

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