FIBA World Cup 2019: Spain and Serbia reach quarter-finals

By Sports Desk September 06, 2019

Spain and Serbia booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup on Friday.

Spain overcame Italy 67-60 and Serbia thrashed Puerto Rico 90-47 as they both guaranteed qualification from Group J.

The two nations will battle it out for top spot when they meet in a mouth-watering clash in Wuhan on Sunday.

Poland and Argentina also advanced with victories over Russia and Venezuela respectively.

Hosts China scored a 77-73 win over South Korea in the classification round, while there were also triumphs for Nigeria, Iran and Tunisia.

 

ITALY LOSE IT LATE

Spain were trailing 56-52 with four minutes to play against Italy, but Ricky Rubio helped lead a 10-0 run as Italy were put to the sword.

The Phoenix Suns guard finished with 15 points, two assists and two steals, though he recorded seven turnovers – a joint-high for him in a World Cup game.

Juancho Hernangomez had a game-high 16 points as Italy came up short and saw their hopes of reaching the last eight go up in smoke.

Marc Gasol had just two points and four rebounds in his 27 minutes on the floor.

 

SERBIA TOO GOOD FOR PUERTO RICO

A fourth win on the trot always looked likely for Serbia, who opened the scoring and never trailed against Puerto Rico.

Five Serbia players reached double figures in points, while the towering Boban Marjanovic went seven-of-eight from the field for 16 points.

The European side out-rebounded their opponents 48-26 and used all 12 of their players in a routine victory.

Nikola Jokic claimed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

DECK DECKS VENEZUELA

Argentina had Gabriel Deck to thank for their 87-67 triumph over Venezuela; the Real Madrid forward had 25 points off nine-of-12 shooting in a comfortable win.

Poland joined them in advancing from Group I.

Adam Waczynski scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as Poland came from behind to down Russia 79-74.

Mateusz Ponitka contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, as Mikhail Kulagin's game-high 21 proved insufficient for Russia.

Like Spain and Serbia, Poland and Argentina will fight for top spot on Sunday. They go head to head in Foshan.

Related items

  • 'I'd be f****** irate' – LeBron fumes over Astros sign-stealing scandal 'I'd be f****** irate' – LeBron fumes over Astros sign-stealing scandal

    LeBron James called out MLB commissioner Rob Manfred over the handling of the sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros.

    The Astros were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams en route to winning the 2017 World Series, as well as for part of the 2018 campaign.

    General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by the team in January after they were initially suspended for the entire 2020 season by the league, while the Boston Red Sox dismissed manager Alex Cora.

    The fallout from the scandal continued on Tuesday after New York Yankees star Aaron Judge labelled the punishment "weak" and NBA icon James weighed in via social media.

    James – a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP – tweeted: "Listen I know I don't play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be f****** irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do!

    "Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this.

    "Literally the ball is in your court [or should I say field] and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay."

    James' comments came after he announced his first children's book will be released in August.

    The 35-year-old – who is also set to feature in the next 'Space Jam' movie – has teamed up with HarperCollins Publishers for the picture book titled 'I Promise'.

    "Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," James said.

    "Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in."

  • Casillas has retired after RFEF leadership bid, says Porto president Casillas has retired after RFEF leadership bid, says Porto president

    Spain, Real Madrid and Porto great Iker Casillas is set to retire after announcing his bid for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) presidency, according to the Portuguese club's president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.

    Casillas suffered a heart attack in training with Porto last May and, although he has not played since, the 38-year-old never announced his retirement despite being added to the team's backroom staff in July.

    He was then included in Porto's squad for the 2019-20 season, but Monday's announcement of his leadership bid in Spain led to strong suggestions retirement confirmation was imminent.

    Although the goalkeeper has not spoken publicly on the matter himself, Pinto da Costa claims Casillas told him his playing days are over, as he looks set to rival incumbent RFEF chief Luis Rubiales.

    "I was very happy. Casillas had an attitude that touched me a lot, because before announcing the candidacy he made a point of coming to Porto to have lunch with me to communicate that he would make that decision and end his career," Pinto da Costa told reporters on Tuesday.

    "He has a great career, in which he has only been in two clubs and we know he has both at heart."

    Casillas made 167 appearances for Spain and captained his country to success at the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships of 2008 and 2012.

    He is also regarded as an all-time great of Madrid, his boyhood club whom he solely represented before joining Porto in 2015.

    A date for the latest RFEF election, which would appear to see Casillas take on Rubiales, is yet to be confirmed.

  • Ben Simmons can be one of the NBA's best, says Dirk Nowitzki Ben Simmons can be one of the NBA's best, says Dirk Nowitzki

    Dirk Nowitzki feels Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons has the potential to develop into one of the NBA's best players.

    Australian Simmons, the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, appeared in his second straight All-Star Game in Chicago at the Weekend.

    The 23-year-old is averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game for the 76ers, while he also leads the NBA in steals.

    Earlier in this campaign he drained his first regular-season three-pointer - with Simmons' shooting from beyond the arc often used as a stick to beat him with - and 2007 NBA MVP Nowitzki believes that is the only facet of his game preventing him from moving into the elite echelon.

    "I love Ben. I got to meet him a couple of times. His potential… the sky's the limit," said Nowitzki, who was speaking at the Laureus Awards in Berlin, where he won the Lifetime Achievement prize.

    "He's super, super athletic, he's got a great touch. He sees the floor, gets his guys involved. Eventually, I think we all know, he needs to improve his shot.

    "If he improves his shot he can be one of the best in the league, best in the game.

    "Just right now people are playing off him a little bit and making him shoot.

    "He's got the touch, the feel for the game that if he works hard, keeps improving the way he has – he's still young – he's going to be fun to watch for a long, long time."

    Nowitzki brought the curtain down on his decorated 21-year NBA career after last season having been named to 14 All-Star Games and also winning the 2011 NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks, where he spent his entire career.

    Despite Nowitzki's departure, the future looks bright for Dallas thanks to two other Europeans - 20-year-old Slovenian Luka Doncic and 24-year-old Latvian Kristaps Porzingis.

    Doncic has already taken on Nowitzki's mantle as Dallas' star and he was named as a starter for the All-Star Game in just his second season.

    "Amazing," Nowitzki added of Doncic.

    "He was voted a starter at 20 years old. He's been so much fun to watch and hopefully he'll stay in Dallas for his whole career and we'll have a lot of fun watching him, hopefully for a long, long time.

    "The way he plays, the way he reads the game, the way he scores – he's a great all-round player. He's super fun to watch.

    "They're young still. Luka's only 20, Kristaps is 24. Hopefully those guys can build something and be together in Dallas for a long, long time and play on a high level.

    "Of course, eventually they would like to bring a championship to Dallas, that would be amazing. We'll just see how they play off each other and grow together."

    On receiving Laureus' Lifetime Achievement Award, Nowitzki added: "Of course it's a great honour to get the award for my lifetime achievement.

    "I played more than 20 years in the NBA. I was trying to move the game forward.

    "It's nice to feel that you're respected and accepted for what I achieved during my career. For me it's a huge honour. I'm glad to be here."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.