The contingent from the United States playing in the FIBA Men U19 World Championships entered Game 6 of the qualifying rounds with a perfect 5-0 record along with their opponent on the day, Serbia, and the Spanish club that squared off against Lithuania. By the end of the day, the US was the only undefeated team as they defeated Serbia 71:62 in the closest game they’ve played during the tournament (the first five were won by an average of 55 points), and Lithuania outlasted Spain 61:59 to hand them their first loss.
With Wednesday’s results Australia joins the USA, Serbia, and China in Group F after they defeated Russia 78:61. The Aussies will square off against the top team in Group E, Spain, in the quarter-finals.
In Group E, Canada snapped up the final seat in the quarters with a 78:62 win over Argentina and will face the US in the quarter-finals. The rest of Group E (by place) is Spain, Lithuania, and Croatia.
In the US-Serbia game, the undefeated Serbs were within four, at 54:50, early in the final frame, but the Americans pulled away for the win handing Serbia their first loss of the tournament. The US will face Canada in the quarters, while Serbia will match-up with Croatia.
The Croatians finished third in Group E despite finishing with the same 5-1 record with the top club, Spain, and the second-place team, Lithuania. Croatia defeated Iran 81:60 behind Dario Saric’s 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. His 27 points put him one point ahead of Canada’s Tyler Ennis McIntyre for the scoring leader with 129 points (21.5ppg) vs. 128 (21.3ppg) for McIntyre. Saric continues to lead the rebounders with 13.3rpg, as well as assist-leaders with 5.8apg. Radovan Kouril of the Czech Republic pulled to within a single assist on Wednesday (35 for Saric vs 34 for Kouril). Another category the Saric leads is turnovers, where he has the same 35 (5.7tpg) as he has assists.
China had locked up a place in the quarters on Tuesday, but fell to Brazil 87:77. China finishes third in Group F and will meet Lithuania in the next round.
The big game in Group E was the match against Spain and Lithuania. Spain had a five-point buffer to keep the top spot in the group and held on at the end even though the Lithuanians handed Spain their first loss, they were within those five points at the end of the final buzzer, 61:59.
FIBA Men U19 World Championships – Quarter-Finals
Friday, July 5
13:15 – Lithuania – China
15:30 – Spain – Australia
18:00 – Croatia – Serbia
20:15 – Canada – USA