Serbia and Team USA were the favorites entering the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Both teams were upset in the quarter-finals earlier this week, and played yesterday in the fifth-place bracket.
Gregg Popovich, who is so over this facade we call life, said this to Serbian coach Sasha Djordevic before the game:
Anywho, USA lost to Serbia, 94-89, which wasn’t all that bad considering Serbia was winning after the first quarter, 32-7.
Now, Team USA will play Poland tomorrow at 4 a.m. EST with a chance at seventh place on the line. We'll forgive you if you sit this one out. And you thought the Flint Tropics going for fourth place was kind of sad.
Does any of this matter?
Of course it does! Behind the Olympics, it’s the second biggest international basketball competition in the world. And USA’s team wasn’t exactly stacked, but it had 12 NBA players, which is seven more than any other team in the competition.
Guess we’ll just have to wait until next year’s Tokyo Olympics, when the best American players will be more bothered to play for their country.
There’s still a World Cup champion to be crowned
Luis Scola, the 39-year-old wonder, dropped 28 points this morning on France in an 80-66 victory for Argentina, putting them through to the finals.
(Maybe it’s because of the serene court he built and practices at in the Argentinian countryside.)
Scola's style is very much old-man, YMCA bully-ball, but he can also confidently pull up and hit from deep, something he started to develop in his later NBA years.
In the finals, Argentina will play Spain, which outlasted Australia this morning in double-overtime (!), 95-88.
It was an awesome and infectious game, which served as a two-hour ad for how good international basketball can be. It swept Luka Doncic off his feet.
And it even featured this guy, rocking a Lakers Shaq jersey:
The highlight of the tournament almost came from Ricky Rubio who juuuuuuust missed a halfcourt bankshot which would have won the game.
Anyway, shoutout to Patty Mills (despite a missed free throw with 4.7 seconds left in regulation which would have given the Aussies a one-point lead), who dropped 34 points in the defeat and had a great tournament overall, and shoutout to Marc Gasol, who scored 33 points, including two late free-throws to send the game to double-OT.
The final game will be played Sunday morning at 8 a.m. EST.
And here’s the reaction from Spain’s bench as the final seconds ticked down.
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