Basketball World Cup: Brazil at last beat Argentina, move into quarters

Brazil finally got over their Argentina complex on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, where they were joined by the European trio Serbia, Lithuania and Turkey. 

AFP| Updated: Sep 08, 2014, 05:26 AM IST
Basketball World Cup: Brazil at last beat Argentina, move into quarters

Madrid: Brazil finally got over their Argentina complex on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, where they were joined by the European trio Serbia, Lithuania and Turkey. 

Brazil had not beaten their South American rivals Argentina at the Worlds since 1967, but ended that drought with an 85-65 win in Madrid. 

Raul Neto led the way with 21 points while Marquinhos Vieira had 13 and Marcelinho Heurtas and Tiago Splitter both scored 10 for Brazil, who also lost to Argentina at the 2012 Olympics and endured World Championship defeats in 1998, 2002 and 2010. 

"This is historic for our country. So we want to do something special for our country and I think this is about time," said Leandrinho Barbosa.

Brazil will take on Serbia in the quarters on Wednesday. 

Serbia reached the last eight by handing Greece their first loss of the tournament, winning 90-72 thanks to Bogdan Bogdanovic scoring 21 points and Miroslav Raduljica chipping in 16 points and six rebounds.

"It`s a very big and very important thing for us and our basketball. During the whole tournament we showed that we have one spirit. I think we deserved to win a game like this," Serbian playmaker Milos Teodosic said.

The Serb win was somewhat of a surprise since they had lost to France, Spain and Brazil in the group stage with only wins over Iran and Egypt. 

Greece, who got 14 points and five rebounds from Nick Calathes, picked the worst time for their first loss of the World Cup. 

Lithuania had a battle but got past New Zealand 76-71 to move into quarters as Jonas Valanciunas collected 22 points and 13 rebounds while Martynas Pocius scored 11 points and Darjus Lavrinovic chipped in 10 for Lithuania. 

"I just play my game, trying to be active and playing for the team. They have a lot of big size and a lot of energy inside," Valanciunas said.

New Zealand put up a fight but could not finish strong, despite 26 points from Corey Webster. 

Lithuania`s opponent in the quarters will be Turkey, who got a three-pointer from Emir Preldzic with five seconds left for a 65-64 victory over Australia. Preldzic and Sinan Guler both had 16 points for Turkey. 

"Our character in this World Cup is that we never give up. Every time we believe we will make something happen until the last second," Turkish coach Ergin Ataman said. 

Aron Baynes had 15 points and seven rebounds in the losing effort for Australia.

The World Cup takes a day off on Monday. The Barcelona quarter-finals take place on Tuesday with the United States taking on Slovenia and Lithuania facing Turkey. 

The Madrid quarters -- Spain vs France and Serbia against Brazil -- will be played on Wednesday.