FIBA World Cup: Spain and Serbia reach quarters

By maintaining their perfect records at the FIBA World Cup, Spain, Serbia, Poland and Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals.

Nikola Jokic bagged 14 points and 10 rebounds for Serbia against Puerto Rico.   -  Getty Images

Spain and Serbia basketball teams booked their spots in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup on Friday. Spain overcame Italy 67-60 and Serbia thrashed Puerto Rico 90-47 as both the teams qualified 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.

Host 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 was trailing 56-52 with four minutes to play against Italy, but Ricky Rubio helped lead a 10-0 run as Italy was 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 its 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, which 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 its opponents 48-26 and used all 12 of its 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 its 87-67 triumph over Venezuela. The Real Madrid forward had 25 points off nine-of-12 shooting in a comfortable win. Poland joined it 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.