Spain survive thriller, set up date with France; USA vs Lithuania in other Semi
MALAGA (Spain) - The nerves of the home fans in Malaga were tested as Spain survived a thrilling Quarter-Final battle with Australia to book their ticket to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022 Semi-Finals, where they will face European foe France while reigning champions United States and Lithuania set up a date in the other final four match-up.
Spain rally to ouster Australians, reach Semis vs France
Spain faced a major challenge but managed to rally from 10 points down and oust Australia 70-68 to reach the Semi-Finals and stay alive for their first-ever U17 World Cup medal. Conrad Martinez split two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to lock up the win and a date with France. Lucas Langarita poured in a game-high 23 points while Izan Almansa collected 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 blocks. Joshua Dent paced Australia with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in the loss.
"We feel fantastic because it was a tough game," Langarita said after his big performance.
Neither team could really pull away in the first half and it was Australia who managed the first double-digit lead at 51-41 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. Spain evened the game 60-60 and it was tight the rest of the way. Martinez made two free throws with 38 seconds remaining to make it 69-66 but missed two with 18 seconds left. He would redeem himself in the end and Spain survived.
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France overwhelm Slovenia in fourth
France fought off a valiant Slovenia effort before overwhelming the U17 World Cup debutant in the fourth quarter and winning 83-63 to stay on track for a chance at the title. Slovenia made 8-of-12 three-pointers in the first half and after a back-and-forth third quarter still only trailed 57-53 with under 8 minutes to play. But France went on a 21-6 spurt to decide the game.
Zaccharie Risarcher led the way with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists and Alexandre Sarr scored 13 points in the win. Lon Lican and Nik Urbanija both had 15 points for Slovenia while Jan Vide had 12 points on 6-of-27 shots.
"This means a lot to us. We knew they were a tough, tough team to play. They play hard, so it was a hard game for us," said Pacome Dadiet, who scored 12 points in his return to action after missing the last two games with a wrist injury. "We started hot and we need to do that in the next two games."
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Lithuania blow out Poland, reach Semis for third time
Lithuania advanced to within one victory of a second U17 World Cup medal as they blew past Poland 73-44 to reach the Semi-Finals. Lithuania, who have now reached the Semis in three of their four appearances in this competition, took control of the game with a 25-2 run spanning the second and third quarters. Lithuania's defense held Poland to just 25 percent shooting and limited Poland's leading scorer Szymon Nowicki to 2 points - 16.8 below his average
"As a team we played aggressive defense and locked down their best players," said captain Vytautas Zygas, who led the way with 20 points while Justas Stonkus scored 12 points and Aleksas Bieliauskas had 11 points and 9 rebounds.
Lithuania grabbed the bronze medal at the 2016 edition of the U17 World Cup - also held in Spain - and Zygas said his team is confident going into the Semi-Finals against United States: "It's an honor. But I think we will win first place in this World Cup."
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USA too much for Jovic-less Serbia, roll into Semi-Finals
United States avoided a let-down and continued their march towards their sixth straight undefeated title by rolling past Serbia 106-80 in the Quarter-Finals to set up a date with Lithuania in the Semi-Finals.
Serbia stuck close for about about three quarters - the deficit was about 10 points most of the third period - before finally watching the Americans pull away for good in the final frame. Serbia's leading scorer Filip Jovic was injured after just 4:21 minutes and did not play the rest of the game. Cooper Flagg dominated with his all around game for the Americans with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks and Koa Peat added 17 points and 6 rebounds.
"We are just sticking together and keeping up our energy and playing defense together. We play together, we play smart together, so as a team we'll all go far and win the gold medal," said Karter Knox, who chipped in 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
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Stat of the day
24 - as in the 24 offensive rebounds that Lithuania grabbed - one of them by Petras Padegimas for the putback dunk- as Lithuania out-rebounded Poland 64-35.
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Highlight of the day
Ilane Fibleuil has been a highlight-making machine ... here one of the machinery's finest of the day.
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Picture of the day
My kingdom for a second-half three-pointer - Slovenia head coach Dejan Gasparin watched his team shoot 8-of-12 on three-pointers in the first half but crashed after the break with just 1-of-15 from deep in the second half.
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Other results - Classification 9-16
- Argentina got 20 points from Drazen Sinigoj in an 80-66 win over Japan.
- Egypt grabbed their first win as they defeated Dominican Republic 61-55.
- Canada rebounded from their disappointing Round of 16 loss to rout Lebanon 94-41.
- New Zealand book their first win as they down Mali 80-59.
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United States vs Lithuania
France vs Spain
Serbia vs Poland
Slovenia vs Australia
Argentina vs Canada
Egypt vs New Zealand
Japan vs Lebanon
Dominican Republic vs Mali