Spain – The last four teams to fill out the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup 2014 have been determined after some intense action in Day 2 of the Round of 16. Brazil, Serbia, Lithuania, and Turkey are all moving on in the competition after securing wins in these knockout rounds.
Turkey vs Australia, 65-64
The scores remained remained close throughout the game, but Australia was able to pull ahead by five points with just over a minute left in regulation thanks to the effort of Matthew Delladova. In the end, this exciting game was decided by Turkey’s Emir Preldzic, who sank two crucial three-point shots in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter to lift his team to victory. Preldzic along with teammate Sinan Guler led Turkey in scoring with 16 points each. Aron Baynes was Australia’s top scorer with 15 points.
New Zealand vs Lithuania, 71-76
Jonas Valanciunas’ presence in the paint played a pivotal role in Lithuania’s win. He altered shots and boxed out opponents, which did not register on his already impressive stat sheet. He finished the game 22 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks. It was a heartbreaking loss for the New Zealand All Blacks who had to watch the game slip away from their grasp in the fourth quarter. Lithuania put up an 8-0 run, to put themselves ahead by 73-65 with two minutes remaining in the final quarter. New Zealand’s Corey Webster was knocking down some key treys throughout the game (3-8), but Lithuania became more aggressive with their perimeter defense and stifled NZ’s assault from the outside. Webster finished with a game-high 26 points to lead New Zealand in scoring.
Serbia vs Greece, 90-72
Greece was able to go through the group stages of the event unscathed with an impressive 5-0 record. However Serbia was unperturbed, knowing that all it takes is good effort and flawless execution to upset any team in these knockout stages of the competition. And that they did. They were put up an impressive performance in the second half of what was initially a tight game, to write the ending to their Greek tragedy. Serbia was up just by four points (46-42) after two quarters of action, but began to pull away in the third and then their lead simply snowballed out of control in the final period. Five of Serbia’s players scored in double figures, highlighting their unselfish play. They were led by Bogdan Bogdanovic who ended the game with 21 points. He bombarded the Greek team from beyond the arc on 4-of-7 shooting. Miroslav Raduljica added 16 points and six rebounds in the winning effort. Greek guard Nick Calathes led his team with 14 points.
Brazil vs. Argentina, 85-65
Argentina started off the game strong, kicking things off with an early 13-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. Brazil fought back in the second period to cut the lead down to three points (33-36) heading into the halftime break. Brazil stepped up their interior defense in the third quarter, leaving Argentina to rely on their outside shooting to put up points on the board. From there, Brazil was able to cruise to victory. Luis Scola, who has been Argentina’s go-to player in the paint for most of the competition was limited to just nine points and seven rebounds for the game. Brazil defended him well, forcing him to shoot a poor 2-of-10 from the field. He did not fare too well from the stripe, making only half of his attempts (5-10). His teammate Pablo Prigioni did manage to add 18 points. Brazil got a huge lift from their bench. Raul Neto exploded for 21 points to fuel Brazil’s run.
Here are the Top 5 plays during the day’s action:
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