Stars of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup were among the protagonists on the seventh day of the FIBA World Cup in China, first one of the second phase.
Poland and Argentina remained undefeated on Friday and already secured their spots in the quarterfinals. Poland opened the second round with a history dramatic 79-74 victory over Russia. Adam Waczynski of Unicaja Malaga led Poland with 18 points, while Mateusz Ponitka of Zenit St Petersburg added 14 and Damian Kulig posted 10. For Russia, a trio of CSKA Moscow players led the way, with Mikhail Kulagin scoring 21 points while Andrey Vorontsevich and Semen Antonov had 11 apiece. After three quarters, Russia was in control, 53-57, but Poland managed to jump ahead early in the fourth. Vorontsevich made free throws to tie it 64-64 with 4:27 to go. But after several free throws made, Aaron Cel blasted a three at 72-68 with 2:20 to go, giving Poland some air. At 77-74, Waczynski sealed the deal from the free throw line to make it a five-point game with 8 seconds to go. Argentina cruised past Venezuela 87-67 behind Real Madrid's Gabriel Deck who had 25 points. His Real teammates had big contributions, too, with Facundo Campazzo finishing with 12 points and 9 assists, while Nicolas Laprovittola collected 9 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. A former EuroLeague great Luis Scola had 15 points and 6 rebounds for Argentina which used a 10-2 run to start the second quarter, and behind Laprovittola, Scola and Deck opened 27-14 lead. The margin was also 13 points at halftime, before Deck's layup increased it to 50-32 midway through the third quarter, as Argentina never looked back. Michael Carrera scored 19 points for Venezuela, which together with Russia, dropped to a 2-2 record.
Spain and Serbia kept their perfect records intact and clinched quarterfinal spots in Group J on Friday. Spain edged Italy 67-60 in a game where Italy jumped out to a 5-15 lead, but Spain quickly caught up and teams exchanged leads in the first half. Italy held 30-31 at halftime, but Juancho Hernangomez strung together 7 points, all assisted by Real's Rudy Fernandez, before Victor Claver of FC Barcelona hit a triple to help put Spain up 46-38. However, CSKA's Daniel Hackett and Amedeo Della Valle of AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan started Italy's charge in the third quarter, before Danilo Gallinari's triple put Italy in front 52-56 with less than 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But Claver and Sergio Llull of Real sparked a 10-0 run that gave Spain 62-56 lead with 67 seconds to go, and Spain prevailed. Juancho Hernangomez led Spain with 16 points. Ricky Rubio scored 15, Llull finished with 11, and Claver collected 7 points and 9 rebounds. Gallinari was Italy's top scorer with 15 points while Luigi Datome scored 12 in a losing effort. Serbia continued its march through China on Friday with a blowout win over Puerto Rico, 90-47. With a 23-14 result in the first quarter and 26-12 in the second, Serbia made it to the locker rooms with a 49-26 lead that already told the story of the game. After 40 minutes, the winners had taken the rebounds battle by storm, 48-26, and managed to win by their highest margin in the game, 43 points. For Serbia, former EuroLeague MVP Nemanja Bjelica set the pace with 18 points, big man Boban Marjanovic added 16, and Nikola Jokic had 14 plus 10 rebounds. For Puerto Rico, only David Huertas managed to score in double digits with his 11 points.