DONGGUAN (China) – Argentina played a sublime game to take down Serbia in the Quarter-Finals, reaching the final four phase for the first time in last 13 years and leaving Serbia without a medal in China.
It finished 97-87, another high scoring game giving you an idea on how efficient Sergio Hernandez’s men played against the team who were dreaming of lifting the Naismith Trophy in Beijing when all is said and done. Facundo Campazzo was the energy bolt Argentina needed, with 18 points and 12 assists, Luis Scola scored 20, and it was the role players who were on target again for the South American side.
Patricio Garino collected 15 points, Gabriel Deck added 13 to the mix, and Luca Vildoza had a huge first half, finishing with 11 points in 15 minutes of work. Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 21 points went to waste for Serbia.
“We should have played better defense and more concentrated. The toughest matches are the Quarter-Finals but now we have lost the chance to win a medal. The best thing we can do now is to fight to at least be the fifth.” – Serbia shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic
Spain put an end to Poland’s World Cup fairy tale
SHANGHAI (China) – Poland kept things close for one half before Spain turned up the jets and ran away with a 90-78 Quarter-Finals win at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center.
This was Spain’s sixth straight win at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, knocking out Poland from World Cup contention and relegating them to the Classification Round 5-8.
With stingy defense hounding top scorer Mateusz Ponitka all game long, Poland couldn’t get much of a rhythm going. Ponitka had just two points in the entire first half, and Poland had to rely on Adam Waczynski’s and A.J. Slaughter’s combined 17 points to keep within striking distance of Spain.
Coach Sergio Scariolo’s wards, however, came out of the half-time break more energized, and they soon erected a double-digit second-half lead they would protect until the final buzzer.
History was made today as well, with Spain’s Ricky Rubio officially overtaking Argentina’s Pablo Prigioni as the all-time assists leader in the annals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Rubio finished with 9 assists in Spain’s big victory on top of his 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 triples.
Speaking of Poland, their fairy tale run has come to an end, but people will remember them as the Cinderella squad of this entire competition. This generation have put Polish basketball on the map, and everyone has taken notice.
They Said: “It’s a great feeling to be in the top four of the world in such a demanding competition with so many great teams. It’s a great feeling, especially in a year when we had some problems to build up the team. It doesn’t mean we’re going to stop, of course. I would say it’s a good time to take a day off, rest, enjoy this and then prepare for the next one.” – Spain head coach Sergio Scariolo
“I would like to congratulate Poland on a great tournament. They played a really tough game. We put ourselves in a tough spot, but I’m happy we got the win. We played a serious game with some mistakes and we got to better moving forward. Passing Prigioni is an honor. For me growing up, watching Argentina play, it was really nice seeing Manu, Scola and Pablo Prigioni. Being in that same category as him is a huge honor.” – Spain point guard Ricky Rubio
“I want to say that I love our team. I’m so proud of how we represented Poland. We’ve been on a fantastic run. We played for that dream, we played hard and gave our best. I have so much respect for our players. It was tough. We respect Spain. We wanted to try and pull that big upset; unfortunately, tonight it wasn’t to be.” – Poland head coach Mike Taylor
“It was a tough game for us, for sure, but we fought till the end. I really respect all our players. They never gave up even when we weren’t winning. We were always fighting. We were down by more than 10 and even came back. Against Spain, you can’t stop everything, but we tried. I’m really proud of the team and where we are. I think this is still a big success for Polish basketball.” – Poland guard Adam Waczynski