Argentina, Spain move on to semifinals

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FIBA World Cup

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Argentina and Spain continued their unbeaten runs through the FIBA World Cup with quarterfinal victories on Tuesday, with Serbia and Poland eliminated.

Half of the final four for the FIBA World Cup has been set, with Argentina beating Serbia 97-87 and Spain topping Poland 90-78 in quarterfinal meetings on Tuesday.

Argentina will meet the winner of Wednesday’s USA-France quarterfinal on Friday, while Spain awaits the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchup between Australia and the Czech Republic.

For Serbia (4-2), it was a disappointing exit from a tournament in which it won its first four games by an average of 40.8 points per game.

But when the competition got tougher — first against Spain to close the second round and then against Argentina, the shots that fell against lesser foes stopped going in.

Poland (4-2) also lost for the second straight game, hanging with Spain for 35 minutes before the Spaniards put together another great closing surge. Spain outscored the Poles 14-6 over the final 5:42 after Poland had gotten to within four points at 76-72.

For Serbia, they will remain in Dongguan for a matchup Thursday at 7 a.m. Eastern against the loser of the USA-France game in the classification bracket to determine fifth through eighth place in the field.

Poland will play the loser of the Australia-Czech Republic game in a classification bracket matchup in Shanghai at 9 a.m. Eastern Thursday.

Argentina shot 53.7 percent in the win over Serbia, while holding Serbia to just 41.8 percent. The Serbians had an 18-8 advantage on the offensive glass, but wasted it as Argentina actually finished with a 13-8 edge in second-chance points.

Ouch.

Spain led by as much as 16 points in their win over Poland, which never led after early in the first quarter, but never went away despite Spain going up double digits on multiple occasions throughout the game.

Poland was the lowest-ranked team in the FIBA World Rankings to reach the quarterfinals, coming into the tournament at No. 25, so it was a solid — if unexpected — performance by them.

Spain capitalized on its opportunities, hitting 50 percent of its shots while having small edges in offensive rebounds and in the turnover department.

Poland never got its scoring leader from the early stages of the tournament going, as Mateusz Ponitka finished with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.

Here are closer looks at Tuesday’s quarterfinal results and a look ahead to Wednesday’s games.





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