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Watch Wizards’ Tomas Satoransky hit game winner for Czech Republic in FIBA Qualifier


TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Tomas Satoransky #31 of the Washington Wizards grings the ball up court against the Toronto Raptors in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round in the 2018 NBA Play-offs at the Air Canada Centre on April 17, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Raptors defeated the Wizards 130-119. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tomas Satoransky

Claus Andersen

Washington’s Tomas Satoransky is one of the nearly two dozen NBA players representing their country in this one window of FIBA qualifying.

Turns out, they needed him.

In a close game with Russia Thursday that could have had a big impact on European qualifying, it was Satoransky with the runner in the lane for the game-winner against Russia.

With the win, the Czech Republic is 6-1 in European qualifying and in a strong position to make the World Cup next year in China. Russia falls to 3-4 and needs a couple of big wins the rest of the way to make the next big dance.

At his day job, Satoransky showed some promise last season as a ball handler behind John Wall, and filling in last season while Wall was injured. He was the best of the Wizards’ backup ball handlers off the bench, but coach Scott Brooks never seemed to fully trust him (Satoransky did struggle some when Wall returned from injury), and eventually the team brought in Ty Lawson. We’ll see how the Wizards handle his minutes this year, because if they are going to trust Austin Rivers more as the backup ball handler another team should step in and trade for Satoransky and give him a real chance.