Serbia rout Greece and Brazil topple Argentina as quarter-final line-up is complete…
The field has whittled down to the final eight at the FIBA World Cup 2014, and with the quarter-final bracket now complete, things get even more interesting in the week ahead.
Toronto Raptors star Jonas Valanciunas ensured that third favourites for the tournament, Lithuania, progressed at the expense of New Zealand with a team-high 22 points.
However, it came after quite the scare from the “Tall Blacks”, not because of their Haka, but due to a 26-point performance from Corey Webster. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to pull off an upset despite overturning a 15-point deficit as Valanciunas continues to impress with the development in his game.
Elsewhere, Serbia pulled off a shock after securing a resounding victory over Greece, with Bogdan Bogdanovic scoring 21 points on just 11 shots to push his team past Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co.
The Milwaukee Bucks star will be a notable absentee from the rest of the tournament, but ultimately, Serbia deserved their win and will be full of confidence ahead of their quarter-final clash with Brazil.
As for the Brazilians, they overcame rivals Argentina in their Round of 16 clash on Sunday, and as well as the absence of Manu Ginobili, many have suggested in the aftermath of the loss that it may well be an end of an era for the Argentinians.
With Luis Scola, Walter Herrmann and Pablo Prigioni all likely to call time on their international careers soon, there is likely to be a significant new look to the roster ahead of the Olympics in 2016, and on this occasion, it was Brazil who dominated.
Tiago Splitter scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in less than 20 minutes on the court while Raul Neto (21) and Nene also had a key impact on the game off the bench, and it is likely to be their depth which will be a key factor against Serbia in the next round.
Elsewhere, Goran Dragic would likely have been delighted seeing Australia lose to Turkey after the Phoenix Suns star slammed the Boomers for purposely losing against Angola in order to avoid facing Team USA in this round.
The plan backfired after Turkey sealed the win, and now Slovenia will have to take on the might of the Americans while France will look to spoil the party against hosts Spain.
New Zealand 71-76 Lithuania
Serbia 90-72 Greece
Turkey 65-64 Australia
Brazil 85-65 Argentina
Lithuania vs Turkey
Slovenia vs USA
Serbia vs Brazil
France vs Spain