FIBA World Cup review: Hosts China downed by Poland, while Serbia storm into second round

By Sports Desk September 02, 2019

Poland progressed into the second round of the FIBA World Cup after securing a 79-76 overtime victory over tournament hosts China.

Yi Jianlian missed a three-pointer in the final seconds in Beijing, and China's hopes now hang in the balance as they head into their final group game against Venezuela, who beat Ivory Coast 87-71.

Serbia amassed a huge haul of 126 points as they demolished the Philippines in Foshan, where Italy had beaten Angola 92-61 earlier on Monday.

In Group B there were wins for Argentina and Russia, while Tunisia overcame Iran and Spain got the better of Puerto Rico.

HOSTS DOWNED IN BEIJING THRILLER

Poland clinched their progression from Group A with a dramatic triumph over China in a thrilling encounter.

Mateusz Ponitka became the first player to score 10 or more free throws in the World Cup as he and AJ Slaughter led the way for Poland, who were a point behind with 4.2 seconds remaining.

Ponitka made no mistake with one of the free throws, and after Damian Kulig nudged Poland ahead in overtime, the Zenit man converted another point, which ultimately proved decisive when Yi squandered a three-pointer at the death.

In Group A's other match, Heissler Guillent put in an inspired performance to lead Venezuela to victory over Ivory Coast.

SERBIA STORM INTO ROUND TWO

Seven players got into double figures as Serbia marched into the second round with a demolition of the Philippines.

Nemanja Bjelica missed Serbia's opener against Angola, but came off the bench to steal the show, scoring all seven of his field-goal attempts.

Bjelica sunk a hat-trick of three-pointers as he finished off with a game-high 20 points in 16 minutes.

Serbia will be joined in round two by Group D rivals Italy - who they face next - after their 92-61 victory over Angola.

ARGENTINA REACH MILESTONE VICTORY

Another side into the next round are Argentina after they claimed a 94-81 win over Nigeria.

Nigeria clawed themselves back into contention with a late rally, but an early charge from Argentina proved enough to secure their second win in Group B, and a 60th overall in the World Cup.

Luis Scola was key to the victory with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and he is now the second all-time highest scorer in World Cup history with 611 points.

Russia, meanwhile, were 87-73 winners over South Korea.

Related items

  • Jazz sign coach Snyder to long-term extension Jazz sign coach Snyder to long-term extension

    The Utah Jazz have rewarded head coach Quin Snyder with a long-term contract extension, the NBA team announced on Sunday.

    Utah and Snyder agreed to terms on a new contract that will build on the two years he has remaining on his current deal after the 52-year-old's appointment in 2014.

    Snyder is in his sixth season with the Jazz and has helped Utah reach the playoffs in each of the last three years.

    "I've really enjoyed working with Quin and appreciate the collaboration and innovation he's brought to our franchise," said Jazz president Steve Starks. "He is one of the most respected coaches in the NBA and we are excited to solidify his leadership of the Jazz for years to come.

    "Quin has helped create and lead a special team culture on and off the court. His focus on our players' development and the day-to-day environment that he and his coaches have put in place is an excellent foundation."

    The Jazz have high hopes and showed that in their moves during the offseason.

    Utah quietly had one of the better offseasons in the league after acquiring Mike Conley via trade and signed Bojan Bogdanovic in free agency, while retaining the team's pillars — Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

    The Jazz are just one season removed from a fifth-place finish in the competitive Western Conference and arguably got better across the board ahead of 2019–20.

    Utah will open up regular-season play when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 23.

     

  • Raptors & Pascal Siakam reportedly agree to multi-year extension Raptors & Pascal Siakam reportedly agree to multi-year extension

    The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a four-year, $130million extension with Pascal Siakam, according to reports.

    ESPN claimed the Raptors have come to terms on a max deal for Siakam, a key player in Toronto's run to a maiden NBA title last season.

    Siakam had a breakout year for Toronto last season and was named the NBA's Most Improved Player for his efforts. The Cameroonian averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

    Siakam finished the NBA Finals, in which the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 4-2, averaging 19.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

    Drafted by Toronto with the 27th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the New Mexico State product spent most of his rookie season in the G League where he won Finals MVP and the championship with Raptors 905.

     

  • Kyrie Irving 'conflicted' but keeps talks private amid latest China protest Kyrie Irving 'conflicted' but keeps talks private amid latest China protest

    Kyrie Irving acknowledged he was "conflicted" but would not divulge discussions with commissioner Adam Silver as the NBA's relationship with China remains on the agenda.

    Preseason games in China - involving Irving's Brooklyn Nets - were at the centre of controversy after a since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey supported anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

    Morey's comments overshadowed what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of their key international markets, with media duties cancelled, although the games went ahead.

    LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers were also involved, weighed in on his return to the United States, suggesting Morey "wasn't educated" on the matter.

    And Irving was asked about the situation following the Nets' final preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center, where fans were pictured wearing "Stand with Hong Kong" shirts in the stands.

    Questions centred on a reported behind-closed-doors meeting between Silver and the players involved in China.

    "I don't know whose notes [reports are from] or who is in there that you can't really depend on to keep a conversation like that in house," Irving said. "Especially when it is about the NBA brand and the NBA players being impacted by it.

    "I stand for four things, man: inner peace, freedom, equality and world peace. So, if that is being conflicted inside of me, I am definitely going to have something to say, and I left it in that room."

    Irving, who scored 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting in the defeat to the Raptors, added: "I understand that Hong Kong and China is dealing with their issues, respectively.

    "But there is enough oppression and stuff going on in America for me not to be involved in the community issues here as well."

    Silver claimed earlier this week the Chinese government had asked the NBA to fire Morey, adding: "We said there's no chance that's happening. There's no chance we'll even discipline him."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.