Round of 16 line-up now confirmed and will be played over Saturday and Sunday…
Team USA and Spain both extended their 100% start to the tournament with victories over Ukraine and Serbia respectively on Day 6 of the FIBA World Cup 2014.
The tournament favourites will now advance to the Round of 16 with things becoming a little more tense as they can ill-afford to make any mistakes moving forward.
Despite all the issues leading up to the tournament with withdrawals and injuries, Team USA have remained focused throughout and aside from the occasional poor period of play, they have dominated their rivals and progress after winning all their group games.
Nevertheless, Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the players insist that there is still significant room for improvement as despite some strong performances from their frontcourt, they are still waiting for their guards to fully find their feet and express themselves.
Fears over Kyrie Irving’s injury were allayed while Derrick Rose continues to shake off the rust, and it is clear that against the top teams in the competition, they will all need to be on form if the Americans are to prevail.
Meanwhile, Spain continued on their path with a win over Serbia, and after topping their group the hosts will now play Senegal on Saturday night in Madrid.
Here is the Round of 16 in full:
USA vs Mexico
France vs Croatia
Dominican Republic vs Slovenia
Spain vs Senegal
New Zealand vs Lithuania
Serbia vs Greece
Turkey vs Australia
Brazil vs Argentina
Greece’s clash with Serbia is likely to be an interesting game in particular, while an old rivalry is reignited when Brazil take on Argentina to conclude the weekend’s play.
Nevertheless, both USA and Spain will be expected to advance, although Slovenia star Goran Dragic was far from pleased after claiming a fix on Thursday after Australia seemingly purposely dropped down to third in order to avoid the Americans until the semi-finals.
As a result of their ‘foul-play’, Dragic and Co. will take on Team USA in the quarter-finals, provided that they make it past the Dominican Republic.
Day 6 Results:
Australia 83-91 Angola
Senegal 79-81 Philippines
Finland 65-67 New Zealand
Brazil 128-65 Egypt
Korea 71-87 Mexico
Ukraine 71-95 USA
Iran 76-81 France
Croatia 103-82 Puerto Rico
Lithuania 67-64 Slovenia
Turkey 77-64 Dominican Republic
Serbia 73-89 Spain
Argentina 71-79 Greece