Brazil, Italy and Puerto Rico join the day of surprises in the Basketball World Cup


The first day of the second phase of the Basketball World Cup that is taking place in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines was marked by surprise defeats by Spain, Canada, Serbia and the Dominican Republic, undefeated up to now, while the United States, which had their first match worked against Montenegro (85-73), Lithuania, Slovenia and Germany are already in the quarterfinals.

Both Group L and I were tight after the Spanish, Canadian, Serbian and Dominican teams suffered defeats against Latvia, Brazil, Italy and Puerto Rico, respectively, so the tickets to the quarterfinals will be decided on Sunday with the eight involved depending on themselves.

After Spain, defending champions, lost 69-74 to Latvia, Canada was surprised in Group L by Brazil, who came from behind to win 65-69 thanks, as in the case of the Latvians, to a great quarterfinal .

Despite arriving undefeated in this round, the North American team led by the Spanish Jordi Fernández came out doubtful against a tough rival, who was eliminated by defeat and who started better, holding the powerful Canadian attack (13-16). However, Canada recovered to dominate the second quarter (24-11) and leave comfortably ahead at halftime (47-37).

After going through the locker room, Brazil once again took great care in defense and prevented their rival from feeling comfortable. Canada did not see the hoop easily, they stayed at 28 points in the second half and from there the South American team built its comeback, ratified in a great quarterfinal (13-24). In this way, the winners of Spain-Canada and Brazil-Latvia will be the ones who go to the quarterfinals this Sunday.

The same scenario is presented in Group I, where everything will be decided in the duels between Serbia and the Dominican Republic and between Italy and Puerto Rico. The Serbian team crashed, as in the past Eurobasket, against Italy (76-78) and the Dominican could not with the Central American duel with Puerto Rico (97-102).

Serbia and Italy had a very emotional and even match, despite the fact that Svetislav Pesic’s team seemed to have it under control after a great start to the third quarter where they dominated 60-44. Gianmarco Pozzecco’s men, led by Simone Fontecchio (30 points), did not collapse and signed a 2-15 run to enter the decisive ten minutes with all the options intact. The Italians grew, took the lead five up and held on to their advantage to add a vital victory.

In the other match, the Dominican Republic also conceded its first World Cup defeat against Puerto Rico in a very attractive game where the attacks prevailed over the defenses, with special mention for Karl-Anthony Towns, author of 39 points and 10 rebounds. , and Tremont Waters (37). The Dominicans were up 84-76 in the last quarter, but then Waters went into ‘fervescence’ to put his team up and close the victory.


The rest of the groups did not bring surprises, with the United States maintaining its unbeaten status, but this time having to work until the end against a tough Montenegro, which put up a ‘battle’ despite losing 85-73.

The Montenegrins, led by Nikola Vucevic (18 points and 16 rebounds), held out for the first 20 minutes and went ahead at halftime (37-38), but Steve Kerr’s men, without much brilliance, pressed after going through the changing rooms to Avoid any scare and secure your ticket to the quarterfinals.

The Olympic champion will play for first place in an undefeated clash against Lithuania, which qualified for the crosses after also eliminating Greece, which they clearly defeated 92-67 at the hands of Rokas Jokubaitis (19 points) and Ignas Brazdeikis (18) and a great defense that left the Hellenic team with 24 points in the second half.

Finally, in Group K, the qualification for the quarterfinals of Slovenia and Germany was also certified, which are the other two teams that remain undefeated after defeating Australia (91-80) and Georgia (100-73), respectively.

The Slovenians and Australians met again after the oceanic victory in the fight for bronze in Tokyo 2020, but this time the joy went to their rival, led again by Luka Doncic, although he had a more ‘earthly’ version with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, Josh Giddey being the top scorer of the game with 27 points.

The 2017 European champion came out very strong, but Australia knew how to hold on and with patience and work they got within two points at the start of the last quarter. There, the Slovenian team accelerated and with a 15-2 run ended the match and eliminated their rival.

For its part, Germany did not have excessive problems against Georgia, which after holding firm until the break (43-41), could not keep up with its rival in the second half, ending with a devastating 57-32 run. The Germans and Slovenians will play for first place.