FIBA World Cup 2014 - Spain and USA Continue Collision Course -

FIBA World Cup 2014 – Spain and USA Continue Collision Course

After a rest day, the action continued at the FIBA World Cup 2014 and pre-tournament favourites USA and Spain reached the quarter-finals with minimal fuss.

European nations France and Slovenia also advanced to the last eight to provide the next two for the top two teams in the world, who look increasingly set to meet in Madrid in next week’s final.

Here’s a re-cap of the first four Last 16 match-ups:

USA 86-63 Mexico

Steph Curry led Team USA to a comfortable 23-point win over Mexico with 20 points on 6/9 shooting from downtown. DeMarcus Cousins was a perfect 5/5 from the field to add 11 points while Klay Thompson assisted Curry’s shooting efforts with an additional 15 points. USA made a strong start to lead by ten at the end of the first quarter and they pushed on to take their advantage to 66-38 heading into the fourth with the game already beyond their opponents.

France 69-64 Croatia

After edging through the group stages, France would have to survive another tough challenge in Madrid on Saturday. They found themselves 15-7 behind after the opening quarter but recovered well to lead 23-22 at half-time. The scoring picked up in the second half and France pushed clear with a dominant 23-12 period to lead 46-34 at the end of the third. Croatia battled back and closed to within two points in the final minute but France secured the win at the free throw line. Brooklyn-bound Bojan Bogdanovic top scored with a game-high 27 points while France had four players in double figures to reach the last eight.

Dominican Republic 61-71 Slovenia

Slovenia avoided a repeat fourth-quarter collapse they suffered against Lithuania to reach the quarter-finals with a 71-61 win against the Dominican Republic. Brothers Zoran and Goran Dragic were the only players on their team to record double figures as they combined for 30 points to help set up a clash with USA in the next round. A strong second quarter display was used as a platform to victory although Domincan Republic did manage to get to within two points in the final quarter before Slovenia broke away to wrap up the victory.

Spain 89-56 Senegal

The final game of the day and it proved to be another convincing victory for the tournament hosts as Spain saw off the challenge of Senegal with a 33-point win. Pau Gasol was flawless from inside the 3-point line with 8/8 on his way to 17 points while Serge Ibaka, Jose Calderon and Felipe Reyes all added 11 points apiece. Spain were dominant from tip-to-buzzer and outscored their opponents in each of the four quarters to set up a repeat clash with France in the quarter-finals. Gorgui Dieng has had a great tournament for the African minnows but was restricted to just six points on the night.

Game of the day. Highlights between France and Croatia in a tense clash for a last 8 spot.

Sunday’s schedule: New Zealand v Lithuania (3pm), Serbia v Greece (5pm), Turkey v Australia (7pm), Brazil v Argentina (9pm)*

*UK times

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