Argentina beat Serbia who were considered one of the pre tournament favorites at the FIBA World Cup by a score of 97-87 in the quarterfinals.
Argentina Beat Serbia to Advance
In the biggest upset of the tournament, Argentina beat Serbia to advance to the semi final of the FIBA World Cup. The Argentinian team was led by 39-year old Luis Scola who scored 20 points. The former NBA veteran is the second all time leading scorer in the tournament’s history. The Argentinians play a very physical style of basketball and got a big game from Facundo Campazzo who chipped in with 18 points and 12 assists. Argentina didn’t just beat Serbia, they did it by double digits 97-87.
Coming into the tournament, Serbia was seen as one of the tournament favorites outside of the United States. In fact, many people believed that Serbia would knock off Team USA in the next round had they met. Instead Argentina beat Serbia for the right to play the winner of France versus Team USA.
What Went Wrong for Serbia?
Other than the strong performances of Argentina’s two standout players, there are few reasons that Serbia lost this game. First of all they could not stop Argentina’s pick and roll. It got so bad that Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was benched in the last few minutes of the game. He wasn’t the only player that couldn’t stop Argentina but it was a sign of their overall frustration.
Argentina beat Serbia because they were able to get to the basket at will. Pick and roll defense is one of the biggest weaknesses in Jokic’s game. If the Nuggets are going to be successful in the Western Conference, the big man will need to improve that aspect of his game.
Spain Also Advance to the Semi Final
The Spanish national team led by Ricky Rubio made it back to the semi final. The No. 2 team in the world were able to beat Poland 90-78 in the quarterfinal. They closed out the game with an 11-0 run in the last few minutes. Willy Hernangomez had 18 points while Rudy Hernandez added 16 of his own.
This is the first time Poland has participated in the tournament since 1967. The Spanish team will play the winner of the Czech Republic and Australia on Friday.
Argentina Waits for Team USA vs France
Argentina will not care who they play in the next round. Their style of basketball can give this U.S team problems. Their physicality alone makes this much more of an even contest that some might anticipate.
Team USA has to be happy that Argentina beat Serbia but they will know better than to disrespect this group. This version of Argentina is not the same without Manu Ginobili but they just beat a team that many thought could take out the U.S. Head coach Greg Popovich sent a team of scouts led by Jeff Van Gundy to watch the Argentina beat Serbia so the U.S will know exactly what they’re up against.