2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup

FIBA World Cup roundup (Sept. 2): Serbia dominates, Luis Scola makes history + more

Recap all of the action from an eight-game Monday at the FIBA World Cup

The 2019 FIBA World Cup is under way in China, with opening round play running from Aug 31. to Sept. 5. While we closely track the U.S. Men’s National Team, here’s a quick look at all the action from FIBA World Cup play on Sept. 2.

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Serbia 126, Philippines 67

Serbia showed the world on Monday why they’re among the favorites to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The team shot 75 percent from the field and held Philippines to 37.3 percent in a 126-67 blowout win.

Sacramento Kings forwards Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic led Serbia with 20 and 17 points, respectively, while Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic added 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in just 18 minutes of action. The team is now 2-0 in group play after defeating Angola 105-59 on Saturday.

Philippines are now 0-2 in the group stage.

Argentina 94, Nigeria 81

Former NBA player Luis Scola has led Argentina for nearly two decades and he made history during his team’s 94-81 win over Nigeria on Monday. The 39-year-old forward — who is taking part in his fifth World Cup — finished with a team-high 23 points to move into second place for most points all-time in FIBA World Cup history. Scola still trails Brazilian star Oscar Schmidt by nearly 300 points, but Scola isn’t worried about passing the legend.

“It’s impossible. A small part of me – even if I had the chance to take number one from Oscar – a part of me doesn’t want to do it. I just want him up there, he’s my big hero. A small part of me would be like, ah, nah, let’s just let him be,” Scola said.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie led Nigeria with 18 points and five assists in the loss. Argentina is now 2-0 in the group stage, while Nigeria is 0-2.

Poland 79, China 76 (OT)

Poland outlasted China to win in overtime 79-76 in front of a raucous crowd in Beijing on Monday. Mateusz Ponitka (25 points) and A.J. Slaughter (22) were the leading scorers for Poland during the back-and-forth thriller that saw 13 lead changes.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian led China with 24 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. Poland rises to 2-0, while China drops to 1-1 in the group stage.

Spain 73, Puerto Rico 63

Veteran leaders Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio powered Spain to a hard-fought 73-63 win over Puerto Rico to improve to 2-0 in the group stage. Gasol did it all (19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks), while Rubio added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Spain advances to the second round with the win as they are guaranteed to finish in the top two in Group C.

Puerto Rico, now 1-1 in the group stage, was led by Gian Clavell with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Clavell played seven games for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2017-18 season.

Italy 92, Angola 61

San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli scored 17 points with five rebounds and two steals to lead Italy to a 92-61 win over Angola in Foshan, China. Oklahoma City forward Danilo Gallinari added seven points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. Italy is now 2-0 in the group stage before a must-see matchup with undefeated Serbia on Wednesday.

Tunisia 79, Iran 67

Salah Mejri was the key for Tunisia with 22 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and two steals during a 79-67 win over Iran on Monday. The former Dallas Mavericks center showed an increased shooting range as he went 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point line. Iran was led by Aaron Geramipoor, who tallied 18 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes.

Tunisia is now 1-1 in the group stage, while Iran is 0-2.

Russia 87, Korea 73

Four players scored in double-figures for Russia as the team handled Korea 87-73 to improve to 2-0 in the group stage. Audrey Vorontsevich and Vitaly Fridzon led the way with 13 points each. Guna RA was the leading scorer for Korea with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Korea is now 0-2 in the tournament and will face Nigeria on Wednesday.

Venezuela 87, Côte d’Ivoire 71

Venezuela improved to 1-1 in the tournament with an 87-71 win over Côte d’Ivoire on Monday. Heissler Guillent led Venezuela with 28 points on 11-for-18 from the field and seven assists. Charles Abouo scored 19 points to lead Cote d’Ivoire, who are now 0-2 in the group stage.

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