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Argentina sinks Serbia; Spain also reaches the half-season



DONGGUAN, China – The last time Luis Skola went to the World Cup semifinals, he was 26 and was waiting to bring his long, flowing dark hair to the NBA for the first time.

He is 39 years old. A decade of NBA careers came and went. The hair is tightly trimmed and has a lot of gray and mixed hair. And he's back in the FIBA ​​Final Four.

Scola scored 20 points, Facundo Campazzo finished with 18 points and 12 assists, and Argentina stunned Serbia 97-87 in the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Tuesday night.

"That means a lot," Scola said.

Argentina (6-0) plays in the next semifinal on Friday in Beijing, against the winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal in Dongguan between the United States (5-0) and France (4-1

).

In the Second Quarterfinals on Tuesday, Spain advanced by beating Poland 90-78, while Ricky Rubio scored 19 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the game, deciding 11-0 in the closing minutes.

Luis Skola, top center and the rest of the Argentina team returns to the FIBA ​​World Cup medal for the first time in 13 years. Ye Aung Thu / AFP

Serbia was considered the favorite before the tournament by many and was expecting to win gold after losing the US Championships at the 2016 FIFA World Cup and Argentina has other plans and Skola made very strong statement after the match – this outcome, he insisted, is no opinion.

"It just bothers me that people keep talking about a miracle, keep talking about surprise, keep talking about believing no one," Scola said. "I will tell you that there have been 22 people who have believed in the last two months that we will be here. That's all we need, only 22. We have them, and it's no wonder." [19659002] Patricio Garino added 15th to Argentina.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 21 points for Serbia (4-2), which received 18 points from Nemanja Belica and 16 points, 10-fight effort from All-NBA center Nikola Jokic. Vasilic Micic played 18 minutes for Serbia after his mother's death earlier this week.

"We did a lot of work this summer," Belitsa said. "It's hard. But it's basketball. There are more important things."

Argentina led most of the way but briefly lost the lead in the first possession of the fourth quarter when Marko Guduric made a 3-pointer for Serbia – to which the winners responded with a 19-6 victory over the next 6 minutes.

Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 1:20 left got Serbia within 91-85. But Campaco's jumper on the next possession pushed the lead back to eight and just when the blue-and-white Argentine tribal fans knew it was time to celebrate.

"Campazzo absolutely dominates the game," Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic said of the Argentine 5-point-10 point guard, who is dazzling all the time. "He absolutely dominates the game. That's his win."

Scola stated that it was a team effort. "I think we played a very good basketball game," he said. "We are a good team. We played a great tournament and we deserved to win.

Argentina gets more than a trip to the semifinals – gets an extra day off. After playing everyone else so far in the tournament, Argentina will have two days for a full break before see either the US or France on Friday.

The US sent their scout group – Jeff Van Gundy, Lloyd Pierce and Name Udoka among them – to see the Argentina-Serbia game in person. days, but leaves the band led by Van Gundy,

In Spain's victory over Poland, Willie Hernánomez scored 18 points, Rudy Fernández added 16 and Rubio had nine assists. Spain (6-0) was defeated in the quarter-finals of the last two World Cups – from France in 2014 and Serbia in 2010, when the tournament was still called the World Cup.

But Spain broke through this time and will face Australia or the Czech Republic in the Beijing semifinals on Friday.

AJ "Slaughter" scored 19 points and Adam Wachinski finished 15th for Poland (4-2), which is sure to finish no worse than eighth in his first World Cup since 1967 [19659002] Poland qualified within 76-72 of the game by Waczynski with 5:42 remaining, but Spain withdrew in the next three minutes. Hernánomez's three-point play started Spain's start, then Rubio took two 3 seconds off at about 90 seconds, and Mark Gasol found Victor Clever with a 2:41 left to make it 87-72.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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