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Winning the World Cup in Spain, US woes expand Olympic basketball



PASING: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Basketball suddenly seems wide open after the reigning US champions suffered their worst World Cup, Spain triumphing and Argentina by surprise.

The World Cup bronze medalists France and Australia, who were torn off medals but pushed Spain to the semifinals, will also be in contention.

Not to forget Serbia, which together with young teammate Greg Popovic USA were the favorites in China but were also surprising victims of the quarterfinals.

The Tokyo Games are just over 10 months old, and after some stint after their efforts at the World Cup, teams will start training their sights next summer.

"This is exactly what I knew it was because I played with him before and to this day and the age of basketball in other countries is no secret," Popovic said after the disappointing seventh place finish of his team. [19659002] "So it's not like making an epiphany or a revelation.

" There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches around the world, so there is no surprise in any of this. "[19659002] If the United States manages to persuade double gold medalist LeBron James to play in Tokyo, they will be the favorites to make four Olympic titles in a row.

But it remains to be seen if the US flying flying team China's spook scares the A-listers or spurs them into action.

"SPAIN IS NOT THE BEST TALENTED"

The World Cup triumph in Spain, sealed with a comprehensive victory over 95-75 finalists Argentina on Sunday in Beijing, built on defense and teamwork,

They also had Ricky Rubio, the Phoenix Suns point guard who was declared MVP, and Marc Gasol's international know-how.

Rubio

Unlike from the US team was one of the youngest in China and was thrown together at the last moment. The players were still getting to know each other since the tournament started.

"We were not the highest or most talented or there was no odds when the tournament we started, but we worked hard, "said Spain coach Sergio Scariolo, assistant at Champs those from the NBA – Toronto Raptors.

"They did not lose faith in themselves and basketball rewarded them."

FIRES DISPOPINTMENT AUSTRALIA

Australia brought the Americans victory by 78 consecutive victories in major competitions and exhibition games before the World Cup, a warning about what's ahead.

The Boomers led Spain to much of their thrilling semifinal, only to lose in double overtime.

It left Australia still looking for a world medal or the Olympics – a barren run that they hope could finally click next summer.

Mitch Creek, their forward hopes the Boomers have all their players for Tokyo – they lacked Philadelphia 76ers Jonah Boldon and Ben Simmons in China.

"This team will be a very powerful team when it comes to the Olympics," he warned.

The Australians still bathe in their one-point defeat against Spain in the bronze medal match in Rio 2016.

"We have not forgotten about the previous Olympics, fourth place there," he said.

"And we certainly won't forget about this World Cup campaign.

" So we can learn a lot from that and build on it. "


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