Ricky Rubio played a starring role as Spain regained the FIBA World Cup by defeating Argentina 95-75 in the final in Beijing on Sunday.

Phoenix Suns guard Rubio was named MVP after he combined 20 points with seven rebounds and three assists to lead Spain to the title for the first time since 2006.

Sergio Llull added 15 off the bench for Sergio Scariolo's side, while NBA champion Marc Gasol had 14 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and two steals.

Spain's success owed a lot to a stoic defensive display, with Argentina forward Luis Scola kept scoreless in the first half of the showpiece.

Scola and Facundo Campazzo combined for three-of-21 shooting from the field, with Gabriel Deck's haul of 24 points insufficient to inspire Argentina to a late comeback.

Spain started the first quarter with a 14-2 run and then began the second half by going 12-2 to open up a comfortable advantage they never looked like surrendering.

France took third place for the second successive World Cup after coming from 15 points down in the second half to defeat Australia 67-59.

Gregg Popovich defended Team USA and hit out at a "ridiculous" lack of respect for other nations at the FIBA World Cup after the reigning champions ended their campaign with an 87-74 victory over Poland.

A significantly weakened US squad - missing a host of star names but still packed with NBA experience - saw their title defence ended by France at the quarter-final stage earlier this week, before also losing to Serbia.

That meant Saturday's triumph at Beijing's Wukesong Sport Arena, in which Donovan Mitchell starred with 16 points and 10 assists, was only enough to secure seventh place for the country that won gold at each of the last two World Cups.

Popovich nevertheless said he was proud of his players' efforts as he firmly rejected some of the criticism that has come the USA's way.

"Some people want to play the blame game, there's no blame to be placed anywhere," the veteran head coach was quoted as saying by ESPN. "They want to play the shame game, like we should be ashamed because we didn't win a gold medal?

"That's a ridiculous attitude. It's immature, it's arrogant, and it shows that whoever thinks that doesn't respect all the other teams in the world and doesn't respect that these guys did the best they could.

"Their effort was fantastic. You give people credit for what they did, and that's it. But it's not a blame and shame game, that's ridiculous."

Mitchell was one of five players to put up a double-figure points tally in the USA's final game, along with Joe Harris (14), Khris Middleton (13), Derrick White (12) and Harrison Barnes (10). Middleton also contributed six rebounds and half a dozen assists.

Poland, playing their first World Cup since 1967, were paced by Mateusz Ponitka (18 points), Adam Waczynski (17) and A.J. Slaughter (15).

The outcome was decided early with Team USA scoring the game's first 10 points and stretching their lead to 14 by the end of the first quarter.

They led 47-30 at half-time, aided by Poland's inability to hit from three-point range. The underdogs missed their first 13 shots from behind the arc before finally getting one to fall with a minute and 28 seconds to play before the interval.

Poland did rally in the second half, getting as close as seven points with four minutes and seven seconds left in the third quarter, but the Americans responded with a 9-2 run and ran out comfortable winners.

Serbia secured fifth spot with a 90-81 victory over Czech Republic later in the day, Bogdan Bogdanovic the star of the show with 31 points.

Gregg Popovich defended Team USA and hit out at a "ridiculous" lack of respect for other nations at the FIBA World Cup after the reigning champions ended their campaign with an 87-74 victory over Poland.

A significantly weakened US squad - missing a host of star names but still packed with NBA experience - saw their title defence ended by France at the quarter-final stage earlier this week, before also losing to Serbia.

That meant Saturday's triumph at Beijing's Wukesong Sport Arena, in which Donovan Mitchell starred with 16 points and 10 assists, was only enough to secure seventh place for the country that won gold at each of the last two World Cups.

Popovich nevertheless said he was proud of his players' efforts as he firmly rejected some of the criticism that has come the USA's way.

"Some people want to play the blame game, there's no blame to be placed anywhere," the veteran head coach was quoted as saying by ESPN. "They want to play the shame game, like we should be ashamed because we didn't win a gold medal?

"That's a ridiculous attitude. It's immature, it's arrogant, and it shows that whoever thinks that doesn't respect all the other teams in the world and doesn't respect that these guys did the best they could.

"Their effort was fantastic. You give people credit for what they did, and that's it. But it's not a blame and shame game, that's ridiculous."

Mitchell was one of five players to put up a double-figure points tally in the USA's final game, along with Joe Harris (14), Khris Middleton (13), Derrick White (12) and Harrison Barnes (10). Middleton also contributed six rebounds and half a dozen assists.

Poland, playing their first World Cup since 1967, were paced by Mateusz Ponitka (18 points), Adam Waczynski (17) and A.J. Slaughter (15).

The outcome was decided early with Team USA scoring the game's first 10 points and stretching their lead to 14 by the end of the first quarter.

They led 47-30 at half-time, aided by Poland's inability to hit from three-point range. The underdogs missed their first 13 shots from behind the arc before finally getting one to fall with a minute and 28 seconds to play before the interval.

Poland did rally in the second half, getting as close as seven points with four minutes and seven seconds left in the third quarter, but the Americans responded with a 9-2 run and ran out comfortable winners.

Argentina, looking to win their first FIBA World Cup since the inaugural edition in 1950, will contest the final on Sunday against a Spain side that needed double overtime to progress from the last four. 

Spain advanced to the title game with a pulsating 95-88 victory over Australia, erasing a double-digit deficit in regulation to hand the stunned Boomers their first loss of the tournament.

Marc Gasol fuelled Spain's win in the first World Cup elimination game to go to double overtime by scoring 33 points with six rebounds and four assists. Ricky Rubio added 19 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds as Spain outlasted a Patty Mills-inspired Australia.

Mills poured in 32 points and Nic Kay came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 11 rebounds for the Boomers.

Gasol, who won an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors in June, has a chance become only the second person to add a World Cup crown to an NBA championship in the same year.

Lamar Odom did the double in 2010 with United States and the Los Angeles Lakers. After the Lakers bested the Boston Celtics in seven games that year, Odom stood atop the podium three months later in Istanbul with his USA team-mates hoisting the Naismith Trophy.

"I just cherish every moment for what it is. I don't try to double up. I want to give the maximum for every occasion. It is two completely different situations. I'm going to give my best to win a World Cup for Spain," Gasol told FIBA basketball.

Argentina, having stunned Serbia in the quarter-finals, continued their incredible run in China with an 80-66 victory against France in Friday's other semi-final, with seemingly ageless Luis Scola, 39, and Facundo Campazzo leading the way. Argentina last played in the final in 2002, coming up short against Yugoslavia.

"They were just the better team tonight," France's Rudy Gobert said. "From the first to the last minute, they were more aggressive and played more as a team... It was complete domination."

Spain have a chance to join the United States, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Brazil as only the fifth country to win multiple FIBA World Cup trophies.

Another week, another news cycle dominated by Antonio Brown.

But while all of that was going on, several big injuries hit both major sports in full swing.

And also, disappointment at FIBA World Cup for defending champions the United States.

All of that and more on this week in US Sports.

 

1. Brown dominates headlines

The Antonio Brown drama just will not stop. As of last Thursday, the wide receiver was fighting with his team the Oakland Raiders, his general manager and social media. Now, one week later, he has been released, signed with the New England Patriots and has had a civil suit filed against him alleging he raped and sexually assaulted his former trainer.

It has been a long week for Brown, and he is in a similar spot to where he was a week ago — waiting to see what will happen come on Sunday.

Will the NFL or Patriots suspend Brown? Well, the Patriots can suspend him, the NFL would likely only put him on the commissioner's exempt list, but either way, he is once again in wait and see mode as are all NFL fans.

The Patriots play the lowly Miami Dolphins on Sunday though, so his return at least is not pressing for New England.

2. NFL injuries pile up

With the first week of the NFL season there is football, but there is also disappointment and most of said disappointment comes by way of injury. There were plenty of huge injuries in the first game for many teams.

In Jacksonville, Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles suffered a shoulder injury and is out for a good amount of time. In Washington, Redskins running back Derrius Guice suffered a meniscus injury and will likely be out for more than a month. In Kansas City, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill also hurt his shoulder and could miss four or more games, and in Los Angeles, Chargers tight end Hunter Henry once again will be down for a while as he suffered a bad knee injury.

Now teams will have to adjust to these injuries and figure out what to do moving forward. But we encourage you to check out Foles' replacement in Jacksonville. Rookie Gardner Minshew was good in relief of Foles and he was named the best senior quarterback in college last season. We think he could fill in more than admirably.

 

3. USA eliminated in FIBA World Cup

The United States crashed out of the FIBA World Cup after they lost to France in the quarter-finals and were eliminated completely in their next game when they fell to Serbia.

This was a team that were always going to have a tough time winning the tournament despite being the favourites to win it as All-Stars like James Harden, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis all pulled out of the event.

In the end, this USA team will be known for who did not play than for their end result.

"I can only say, you can't help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn't show up," USA basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told reporters. "I'm a firm believer that you deal with the cards you're dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you're going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court.

"No one would have anticipated the pullouts that we had."

4. MLB sets new single-season home run record

The ball has been flying out of MLB ballparks at an alarming rate this season, and as of Wednesday, it has flown out more than ever before in a single year.

With Baltimore Orioles utilityman Jonathan Villar's three-run homer in a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB teams had combined to hit 6,106 home runs this season which broke the 2017 mark of 6,105 home runs.

MLB teams are now on pace to hit 6,806 home runs, passing the previous mark by 700.

5. Likely National League MVP out for the year

The National League's best player and reigning MVP Christian Yelich is done for the year.

Yelich broke his knee cap when he fouled a ball off his leg during the Milwaukee Brewers' clash with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Fortunately, he will not have to have surgery, but with the Brewers tied with the Chicago Cubs for the second wild-card spot in the NL, this is a devastating blow for Milwaukee.

Yelich finished the season first in the NL in OPS (1.100), tied for second in home runs (44), tied for second in batting average (.329), 10th in RBIs (97), tied for third in stolen bases (30) and first in on-base percentage (.429).

He was the undisputed leader in the NL MVP race and is now out for the season.

Seventh place is the best struggling Team USA can hope for in the FIBA World Cup after they were beaten 94-89 by Serbia on Thursday.

After winning 58 consecutive international games, the Americans have been brought back down to earth in China.

Team USA will play in the seventh-place game against either Poland or Czech Republic on Saturday after suffering back-to-back losses with NBA players in the side for the first time since 2002.

Even a win at the weekend would represent Team USA's lowest placing in a major tournament since NBA players were allowed to participate in 1992.

An early Myles Turner jumper gave the USA a 2-0 lead, but that was the only advantage the Americans had the entire game - and it lasted all of 22 seconds.

The USA appeared to suffer a hangover from Wednesday's loss to France as Serbia jumped out to a 32-7 lead after the first quarter. However, Gregg Popovich's side responded in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 44-40 at half-time.

Serbia kept the Americans at arm’s length in the second half to advance to the fifth-place game against the winner of Poland versus Czech Republic.

Bogdan Bogdanovic led Serbia with 28 points, while Vladimir Lucic finished with 15.

Harrison Barnes paced the Americans with 22 points and Kemba Walker had one of his better games of the tournament, with 18 points and eight assists.

Patty Mills starred as Australia beat Czech Republic 82-70 in Shanghai to reach the FIBA World Cup semi-finals for the first time.

The Boomers sealed a sixth consecutive victory in the tournament to make history at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center on Wednesday.

Australia took charge in the third quarter, outscoring the Czechs by 30 points to 18 to seize control and went on to set up a last-four showdown with Spain in Beijing on Friday.

Mills, Chris Goulding and Andrew Bogut played key roles for Andrej Lemanis' side, scoring 48 points between them to ensure a brilliant performance from Tomas Satoransky was in vain.

Satoransky sunk 13 points, laid on 12 assists and claimed nine rebounds, while Patrik Auda racked up 21 points in defeat for the Czechs.

Point guard Mills shot nine of 15 from the field as he bagged a game-high 24 points, grabbing four rebounds and providing six assists in an influential display.

Goulding and Bogut – on court for just over 12 minutes – finished with 14 and 10 points respectively.

Rudy Gobert starred as France ended the United States' title bid with a 89-79 shock victory in the FIBA World Cup quarter-finals.

Defending champions USA lost their first game in the tournament since 2006 as their star-studded line-up failed to deliver and France advanced to the last four.

Gobert was the main man for France, with the Utah Jazz center netting 21 points and amassing 16 rebounds, along with two assists, while making a superb block with just under a minute to play.

France spoiled an impressive performance from Donovan Mitchell, Gobert's NBA team-mate, who led Team USA with 29 points.

Only two other Americans scored in double figures as Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Both teams had similar shooting numbers, but France dominated on the boards and won the rebound battle 44-28, while also shooting 17 more free throws.

Argentina ended Serbia's hopes of glory at the FIBA World Cup on Tuesday, while Spain progressed to the last four at the expense of Poland.

Facundo Campazzo starred for Argentina in their 97-87 victory in the opening quarter-final, scoring 18 points, providing 12 assists and also grabbing six rebounds.

As for 2006 champions Spain, they prevailed 90-78 against Poland in a notable outing for Ricky Rubio.

Wednesday sees the other two last-eight games, with the United States taking on France before Australia meet the Czech Republic.

 

SCOLA STARS AS SERBIA FALL SHORT

Led by Luis Scola's 20 points, Argentina put paid to Serbia's hopes of going one better than their runner-up finish in 2014. Instead, the much-fancied European nation will not even leave China with a medal.

Two-time champions Serbia trailed for much of the contest but fought hard to hold the lead early in the fourth quarter - only for their opponents to hit back in impressive fashion.

Nicolas Laprovittola and Scola both converted from the foul line after scoring on two-point plays, making the score 87-76 with a little over three minutes remaining.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (21 points) cut the gap down to 91-85 with a three-pointer, only for Campazzo to respond with a successful jump shot at the other end. The reliable Scola then hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds, allowing Argentina's fans inside the venue to start the celebrations early.

 

RUBIO REACHES RECORD

Spain shut down Poland dangerman Mateusz Ponitka - who was held to just two points in the opening half - as they eased into the final four.

Rubio had 19 points but his playmaking skills were the major story in Spain's triumph. The point guard moved past Pablo Prigioni's tally of 106 on the all-time assist list for the competition, the record-breaking moment coming when he found Juancho Hernangomez for a three-pointer in the second quarter.

A.J. Slaughter scored 19 for plucky Poland, who had surprised many in making it to the knockout rounds after qualifying ahead of Russia and Venezuela from Group I.

The United States beat Brazil 89-73 on Monday to book a quarter-final meeting with France at the FIBA World Cup, as well as qualifying for the Olympics.

The defending champions are now 5-0 in China, having boasted far too much firepower for Brazil, who crashed out with defeat.

Brazil's elimination means Team USA and Argentina are both through to the 2020 Olympic Games as they will finish the World Cup as the two top FIBA Americas teams.

Monday's victory secured USA top spot in Group K, though they only had a narrow half-time lead - 43-39 - behind 10 points apiece from Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner.

But USA opened up on offense following the restart, with Celtics guard Marcus Smart hitting a late three-pointer to give the side a 67-56 lead through three quarters.

They stretched their lead further late on, as Walker and Turner each ended on 16 points.

A tougher test is expected against France, however, with NBA stars Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier primed to take on the 2014 winners.

The quarter-final draw for the FIBA World Cup was completed on Monday with the United States to face France in perhaps the pick of the games.

Team USA defeated Brazil to send their opponents crashing out, with Czech Republic instead advancing having held Greece to only a narrow victory earlier in the day.

Australia edged France in Group L to avoid a last-eight meeting with defending champions USA, who will instead face the second-placed side.

Lithuania bowed out with a victory in the same pool, beating Dominican Republic 74-55.

In the classification round, Montenegro, New Zealand, Jordan and Germany achieved wins against Japan, Turkey, Senegal and Canada respectively.

New Zealand and Germany each finished top of their groups.
 

PAIN FOR GREECE AND GIANNIS

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo could not lead Greece to World Cup glory as he fouled out for the second time in the tournament in their 84-77 win over Czech Republic.

Only a 12-point margin of victory would have been enough to keep Greece's hopes of progression alive but they could not hold on after leading 65-53 in the fourth quarter.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis' brother and Milwaukee Bucks team-mate, said: "Our first objective was to win, and then to win by 12. We paid for the game against Brazil in the first round.

"But this is basketball. Sometimes you are on top, sometimes you're on the other side."
 

USA DENY BRAZIL PROGRESSION

Czech Republic still had to wait on the final result of the day, where they needed USA to beat Brazil in order to join the American side in the next stage.

Their progression was sealed, dumping Brazil out, as Kemba Walker and Myles Turner starred with 16 points apiece in the United States' 89-73 success.

Walker also supplied five assists and Turner eight rebounds, despite the latter playing just 20 minutes and 41 seconds for Gregg Popovich's side in Shenzhen.
 

BOOMERS SCORE BIG TO BEAT FRANCE

It is Australia who will play Czech Republic next after booking a place on the opposite side of the draw to USA by handing France a narrow defeat.

A final scoreline of 100-98 represented the first time France have ever given up a century of points in a World Cup game, with Evan Fournier's 31 not enough to rescue a result.

This was the first match at the tournament with two players scoring at least 30 points, while Australia became the first to have three on 20 or more, as Patty Mills managed exactly 30, with Joe Ingles on 23 and Aron Baynes – who converted five of his six three-point attempts - on 21.

Team-mate Jock Landale said of Baynes: "He's huge. That's what he does for us. He's a stretched five, who shoots the ball really well. He is going to keep doing it for us and we are going to keep letting him shoot."

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out as Greece were eliminated from the FIBA World Cup despite an 84-77 win over Czech Republic.

Greece needed a 12-point margin of victory to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals, but their star man was unable to lead the way.

The Czechs led at half-time and, despite a strong third quarter from Greece, their hopes were dashed in the final reckoning as Antetokounmpo was forced out of the game after being pinged for a contentious charge.

The Milwaukee Bucks talisman had made consecutive double-doubles in his past two games, including against the United States, but he was not as impressive on Monday.

Antetokounmpo, who fouled out with five and half minutes remaining, ended with 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the 24-year-old and his team, who were 65-53 up when he came back into the game during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Czech Republic needed the USA to beat Brazil to ensure they make the knockout phase.

Spain put in a dominant performance against heavy hitters Serbia to set up a clash with Poland in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup.

Serbia had the best offense of the tournament heading into Sunday's encounter, but Spain held firm in Wuhan to secure an 81-69 victory and top spot in Group J.

Poland finished second behind Argentina in Group I following a 91-65 defeat to the South Americans, while Russia beat Venezuela 69-60 in the same pool.

Meanwhile, Italy ended their campaign with an impressive comeback against Puerto Rico, Tunisia came out on top by just two points against Angola and South Korea got the better of Ivory Coast.

RUBIO RUNS THE SHOW AS SPAIN STALL SERBIA

Ricky Rubio was in scintillating form as he scored 19 points and added four assists to lead Spain to victory over Serbia, who suffered their first defeat since February.

Rubio was backed up admirably by Marc Gasol and Victor Claver, as Spain earned a fifth successive win.

It was the first time Serbia failed to score 70 points or more in a World Cup match, even though Bogdan Bogdanovic grabbed 26 points in a supreme individual display.

While Spain will face Poland in the last eight, Serbia must rally for a tough test against Argentina.

NIGERIA BOOK OLYMPIC SPOT

Hosts China slipped to an 86-73 defeat in Guangzhou, as Nigeria grasped a place at the 2020 Olympics.

Josh Okogie helped himself to 19 points for Nigeria, with 11 coming in the final quarter. Jianlian Yi was the start of the show with 27 points, but his performance was not enough to secure a Chinese victory.

Nigeria's NBA forward Al-Farouq Aminu said on the FIBA website: "I remember when I joined the team in 2012 we said we did not want to miss an Olympics. It's a beautiful feeling. It's amazing."

China are in danger of missing out on direct qualification for the Olympics, with Iran going above them in the race for Tokyo thanks to their 95-75 win over Philippines.

AZZURRI FIGHT BACK TO OVERCOME PUERTO RICO

Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari inspired Italy to overcome a 26-point deficit as the Azzurri triumphed 94-89 in overtime against Puerto Rico to end a frustrating campaign on a positive note.

Italy had never previously won a World Cup match in which they trailed by 15 points or more at half-time, but Belinelli and Gallinari rallied their team-mates after a timeout taken when 59-33 behind midway through the third quarter.

Belinelli converted a game-high 27 points, while Gallinari became the first Italy player to accumulate more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a World Cup game since 1994.

"It was a very bad game for us in the beginning. We did not show up," Gallinari said. "We knew that we had to come out with a different attitude and different intensity in the second half and I think that we did a great job."

Defending FIBA World Cup champions the United States advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating Greece, while Canada made history against Jordan.

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to lead Greece to a shock victory over Team USA in Shenzhen, leaving them requiring a big win over the Czech Republic in their final second-round match if they are to have a chance of reaching the last eight.

Australia overcame the Dominican Republic 82-76 and France beat Lithuania 78-75 in a dramatic finale, meaning the two victors secured their progression and will battle it out for top spot in Group L on Monday.

The Czech Republic kept their hopes of reaching the last eight alive by defeating Brazil 93-71 – Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky producing a sensational all-round display with 20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

In the classification round, there were victories for Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Turkey.

 

GIANNIS FAILS TO GET GREECE FIRING

Antetokounmpo was expected to be key to Greece's hopes of pulling off an upset against the United States and he had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

However, he was -17 in his 27 minutes on the floor – the worst +/- rating of anyone on his team – and it was while he was on the bench that Greece closed the gap to 11 points with four minutes remaining.

Kemba Walker led USA with 15 points, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 10.

 

BOOMERS STILL BOOMING

Patty Mills posted 19 points and nine assists as Australia held off the Dominican Republic for their fourth straight win.

Jock Londale impressed with 13 points on five-of-six shooting, while Chris Goulding added 15 and Aron Baynes put up 10.

Baynes fouled out with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, but replacement Andrew Bogut stepped up and provided eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

FRANCE THROUGH

Nando De Colo sunk a fadeaway jump shot with 15 seconds of the match remaining to put France three points clear of Lithuania, who saw Jonas Maciulis fail to make a buzzer-beating shot from beyond the arc.

De Colo had 21 points off the bench, while Evan Fournier scored 24 in a commanding display.

Rudy Gobert said: "It was like a final for us. We knew we had to win this game in order to qualify for the quarter-finals. We know that Australia is a tough team too, but we are taking it one game at a time. We are going to get some rest and get ready for Australia."

 

HISTORY FOR CANADA

Nick Nurse's side sank 24 three-pointers in their 126-71 triumph over Jordan, the most in a single FIBA World Cup game.

Canada shot at 58.7 per cent from the floor and combined for 37 assists, equalling the record set by Serbia in their victory over the Philippines in the first round.

Spain and Serbia booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup on Friday.

Spain overcame Italy 67-60 and Serbia thrashed Puerto Rico 90-47 as they both guaranteed qualification from Group J.

The two nations will battle it out for top spot when they meet in a mouth-watering clash in Wuhan on Sunday.

Poland and Argentina also advanced with victories over Russia and Venezuela respectively.

Hosts China scored a 77-73 win over South Korea in the classification round, while there were also triumphs for Nigeria, Iran and Tunisia.

 

ITALY LOSE IT LATE

Spain were trailing 56-52 with four minutes to play against Italy, but Ricky Rubio helped lead a 10-0 run as Italy were put to the sword.

The Phoenix Suns guard finished with 15 points, two assists and two steals, though he recorded seven turnovers – a joint-high for him in a World Cup game.

Juancho Hernangomez had a game-high 16 points as Italy came up short and saw their hopes of reaching the last eight go up in smoke.

Marc Gasol had just two points and four rebounds in his 27 minutes on the floor.

 

SERBIA TOO GOOD FOR PUERTO RICO

A fourth win on the trot always looked likely for Serbia, who opened the scoring and never trailed against Puerto Rico.

Five Serbia players reached double figures in points, while the towering Boban Marjanovic went seven-of-eight from the field for 16 points.

The European side out-rebounded their opponents 48-26 and used all 12 of their players in a routine victory.

Nikola Jokic claimed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

DECK DECKS VENEZUELA

Argentina had Gabriel Deck to thank for their 87-67 triumph over Venezuela; the Real Madrid forward had 25 points off nine-of-12 shooting in a comfortable win.

Poland joined them in advancing from Group I.

Adam Waczynski scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as Poland came from behind to down Russia 79-74.

Mateusz Ponitka contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, as Mikhail Kulagin's game-high 21 proved insufficient for Russia.

Like Spain and Serbia, Poland and Argentina will fight for top spot on Sunday. They go head to head in Foshan.

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