The South Americans’ grand old man Luis Scola knocked down a series of key buckets in a fourth-quarter surge to help crush Serbia, 97-87, in the Chinese city of Dongguan.
FIBA.com
Argentina, Spain in World Cup semis
(Agence France-Presse) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Serbia’s coach said that his strongly fancied team collapsed under the weight of expectation as they were stunned by Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

The South Americans’ grand old man Luis Scola knocked down a series of key buckets in a fourth-quarter surge to help crush Serbia, 97-87, in the Chinese city of Dongguan.

Argentina is now undefeated in six games and headed for a Friday semifinal against reigning two-time champions the United States or France.

In Tuesday’s other quarterfinal, Spain’s Ricky Rubio became the all-time leader for World Cup assists in a 90-78 win over surprise package Poland in Shanghai.

With Gregg Popovich’s US squad unbeaten but still failing to convince, Serbia had emerged as favorites – but their coach Sasha Djordjevic said his players had buckled.

“It was euphoria in our country – everybody followed us, everybody gave us a hand, everybody was eager to see us play in this tournament,” he said.

“We became favorites just like that, everybody was writing – not only in our papers but everywhere around the world – that we are the team, we are the ones, we will win,” he added.

“Sometimes that does not help.”

‘We deserve to be here’

For the Serbs, shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings led all scorers with 21 points, while Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic added 16.

But it was Scola, 39 years old and the last remaining member of Argentina’s “Golden Generation” that won the Olympics in 2004, who remains on course for another milestone.

The World Cup is the only major international trophy that he has yet to win. He finished with a team-high 20 points and Argentina was the more fluid throughout the contest.  

French fry Team USA

France punched a return ticket to the FIBA World Cup semifinals as Les Bleus jolted Team USA, 89-79, in Dongguan, China last night.

Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert and Nando de Colo starred for Les Bleus as they topped the Americans in their quarterfinals matchup to advance to the semis versus Argentina.

Fournier sizzled with four three-pointers and a total of 22 points while Gobert and De Colo added 21 and 18 markers, respectively, as France advanced, and now has a chance of improving on its third-place finish in Spain in 2014.

The Americans, meanwhile, missed the medal plays in the World Cup for the first time since they finished sixth in Indianapolis in 2002.      

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