September 23, 2019
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Three-pointer storm sends solid Argentina into World Cup semis

Dongguan, China, Sep 10 (EFE).- Argentina became the first semifinalist team at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup having prevailed 97-87 over Serbia thanks to 12 three-pointer storm, the character the Latin side showed and an outstanding performance by Facundo Campazzo.

Following its win at the Dongguan Basketball Center, Argentina made its fourth semis appearance at the World Cup and is now pending a match against the winner between the United States and France.

Everything was done well by the Argentine team, who was scoring easily as well as managing to rebound the ball and to force the opponent to commit faults.

In addition, team captain Luis Scola, 39, was useful for Argentina in defending the Serbian outside attack as the Shanghai Sharks power forward scored 20 points and made five rebounds.

It was a new milestone for the current Argentine basketball generation that does not feel burdened by the shadow of the Golden Generation, which Scola honored to have played with.

Argentina, which has already secured its ticket to Tokyo 2020, managed to keep up its dream run at the World Cup, after getting past a talented Serbian team which was disoriented during the game.

It was not the Balkan team's day; despite the Serbian team's scoring 21 points by Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nikola Jovic's double-double (16 goals and 10 rebounds), Serbia national team missed chances against its undeniably talented South American opponent.

The beginning of the game was a clue to Argentina's plan that relied on solid defense against Serbia's attacking strategy, in addition to Facu Campazzo's creativity, as he went on scoring 18 points and making 12 assists.

Furthermore, the Latin American side managed to earn an eight-point lead into the first quarter (42-4) after just three minutes, thanks to three-pointers by Campazzo and Scola.

Serbia insisted on its superiority for playing from the inside, managing to earn a total of five fouls within a five-minute stretch, to even the score at 16-16 in minute six.

Afterwards, Campazzo scored another three-pointer and continued to make further assists, helping his side to hold on to its dominance and end the first quarter 25-23, as the Serbs were the better side on rebounds.

In the beginning of the second quarter, Serbia regained a narrow-gab lead twice, but Argentine coach vowed not to defend from inside, relying on a small quintet strategy that was successful on rebounds and counterattacks, and Argentina then were eight up again in the 13th minute (36-28).

The Serbian squad was unable to stop Argentina's progress, as the Eastern Europeans went to the break trailing five points on the scoreboard (54-49).

Until that point, Serbia's first star Bogdanovic was not at his best, but he scored a three-pointer just after the intermission to get his team back into the game, yet it was short lived as Argentina managed to score twice afterwards, a two-pointer and a three pointer.

The same scenario was repeated again and again, Serbia would narrow the gab and then Argentina would increase it again, until the third quarter ended with a one-point advantage for the Latin squad (68-67), thanks to a trend of good play by the Balkan side.

With a three-pointer into the fourth quarter, Serbia took the lead one more time, but it quickly passed, as Argentina scored two three-pointers in a row, and by minute 36 the Latin American team had a nine-point advantage (82-73).

Despite their continuous tries to narrow the gap, the Serbs continued to seem unable to keep up with the South Americans, and Argentina eventually succeeded in finishing the match with a 10-point advantage (97-87).

Line-ups:

97 - Argentina (25+29+14+29): Campazzo (18), Brussino (4), Garino (15), Delía (4), Scola (20) -quinteto inicial-, Gallizzi (2), Laprovittola (8), Deck (13), Vildoza (11), Fjellerup (2) and Caffaro.

87 - Serbia (23+26+18+20): Jovic (7), Bogdanovic (21), Lucic (12), Jokic (16), Raduljica -quinteto inicial-, Bjelica (18), Guduric (5), Marjanovic, Micic (5), Simonovic (3) and Milutinov.

Referees: Cristiano Maranho (BRA), Tolga Sahin (ITA), Michael Weiland (CAN). EFE

mam/mn/sdh

Related content

Spain reaches World Cup semis for 1st time in 13 years

By Antonio Soto

Shanghai, China, Sep 10 (efe-epa).- Spain will play the FIBA World Cup semifinals for the first time in 13 years after it beat Poland 90-87 at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai.

Spain thus extended its unbeaten streak at the World Cup to six matches and will play either Australia or the Czech Republic in the semis.

The Spanish squad had to put in some hard work against a tough Polish team that proved it was one of the best teams in the tournament, despite being knocked out on Tuesday.

As expected, the victory was not easy and was not certain until the closing minutes of the game.

It was Ricky Rubio who, as usual, led the Spanish attack, as he scored 19 points, making nine assists and earning five rebounds.

Rudy Fernandez, who scored five three-pointers out of five attempts, and the Hernangomez brothers; Juancho and Willy, all put on great performances.

Rubio scored eight points at the early stages to put Spain three points ahead of Poland (12-9) in the fifth minute.

Poland reacted accordingly, tying the score at 18-18 just four minutes later, but the Spaniards managed to end the first quarter in their favor (22-18).

The Spain squad tried to maintain the team's defense strategy that allowed it to defeat Italy and Serbia in the previous phase, yet this strategy was not as successful against Poland, a team that was a long-range threat.

The game was difficult for the Spaniards until Juancho Hernangomez took to the court in the second quarter, and then shot off 12 sudden points within three minutes and a half, including three three-pointer shots, giving Spain a 35-28 lead.

Rudy Fernandez followed Juancho's lead and scored another three-pointer to enlarge the gap further.

Spain maintained its superiority over the course of the second quarter as the team recovered its scoring accuracy, ending the first half of play with a 46-41 lead.

After the intermission, Spain kept up its dominance, widening the point differential gap to 13 points in the 25th minute (62-49), to eventually end the third quarter 67-58.

The Polish squad did not throw in the towel however and tried to keep its World Cup semi hopes alive.

Poland national team managed to narrow the gap to just four points by minute 35 (76-72), but it was their last sign of resistance, as Spain managed to score 11 consecutive points within the following three minutes, making it a 15-point gap.

The Spanish side maintained its upper hand until the end of the match (90-78). EFE-EPA

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