The United States will play Australia in the round of 16 after the Aussies finished fourth in Group C on Thursday at the FIBA World Championship. Greece was the final pool winner, beating Turkey to finish unbeaten in Group C.
Spain, Germany, Angola, New Zealand advance
Germany 108, Angola 103, 3 OT
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 of his 47 points
in the third overtime to lift Germany over Angola in the first triple-overtime game in the history of the
FIBA World Championship.
The 7-foot star from the Dallas Mavericks was 17-for-17 from the
free-throw line in the win that gave Germany (4-1) second place in
the six-team Group B.
Olimpio Cipriano had 33 points for Angola (3-2), which won its
first three games by an average of 20 points and then lost tough games
to first-place Spain and Germany in proving to be the surprise of
There were three games that went two overtimes in the world
championships, the last Brazil's 94-93 win over Italy in the first
round in 1970.
Nowitzki gave Germany the lead for good at 98-95 with a
3-pointer with 3:53 left in the third overtime. He was fouled
taking a 3 with 2:52 left and made all three free throws for a
Robert Garrett and Ademola Okulaja each had 14 points for
Germany, the bronze medalist in 2002.
Mingas had 22 points for Angola, which lost 93-83 to Spain on
Wednesday, while Joaquim Gomes added 21.
Germany lost 92-71 to Spain in the third game of the opening
Spain 104, Japan 55
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Pau Gasol scored 21 points and Spain finished the first round with a perfect record, beating Japan 104-55.
Gasol, the 7-foot-1 center from the Memphis Grizzlies, played most of the game, scoring the game's last basket at the final
Spain (5-0), which was fifth in the 2002 worlds and fourth in the Athens Olympics, finished atop its six-team group and will open
the second round this weekend in Saitama.
Gasol had eight points and six rebounds as Spain dominated inside and took a 47-27 halftime lead over Japan (1-4).
Spain scored the first 19 points of the second half, nine by Juan Carlos Navarro, to go up 66-27 with 3:43 left in the third
quarter. Japan's first points of the second half didn't go through
the basket as Daiji Yamada was credited with the basket on a
goaltending call against Jorge Garbajosa.
The lead was 78-36 after three quarters and when it reached 50,
three Spanish starters were still in the game.
Navarro finished with 18 points and Alex Mumbru added 13 for
New Zealand 86, Panama 75
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Craig Bradshaw scored 17 points and New
Zealand moved on to the second round with an 86-75 victory.
New Zealand (2-3) didn't look like it had much of a chance to advance to the round of 16 and try to match its fourth-place finish in the 2002 worlds at halftime of its fourth game.
New Zealand will play Argentina (5-0), which finished first in Group A, in the second round.
After losing its first three games, New Zealand trailed Japan by 18 points at halftime on Wednesday night. But New Zealand suddenly found its shooting touch and rallied for a 60-57 victory.
New Zealand came out with the same offensive effort against Panama (0-5), shooting 57 percent (17-for-30) in taking a 48-38 halftime lead.
Kirk Penney, who hit the game-winning 3 with 31 seconds left against Japan, added 16 points for New Zealand, which finished fourth in six-team Group B behind Spain, Germany and Angola.
"Argentina is chocked full of great players with experienced Olympians," New Zealand coach Tab Baldwin said of the reigning gold medalists. "We have to lift ourselves. Still, if we do that and the offense starts clicking better we're going out there to
Michael Hicks, who played at Texas A&M from 1999-2001, led Panama with 20 points.
Panama was making its first appearance in the world
championships since 1986, when it finished tied for 13th.
Argentina, Nigeria, Serbia and Montenegro, France advance
Argentina 83, Serbia and Montenegro 79
SENDAI, Japan -- Luis Scola scored 22 points and Argentina
rallied to victory over Serbia and Montenegro to
finish group play unbeaten.
Serbia-Montenegro, the tournament's defending champion, took a
66-61 advantage into the final period but couldn't hold the lead.
After a Juan Sanchez free throw, Serbia and Montenegro's Igor
Rakocevic converted a layup to make it 81-79. But Ruben Wolkowyski
hit a pair from the foul line in the final seconds to seal the win
for the Olympic champions.
France 81, Venezuela 61
SENDAI, Japan -- Florent Pietrus scored 19 points as France
defeated Venezuela 81-61 Thursday to finish second in Group A and advance to the next round of the world championships.
Pietrus scored 14 points and had seven rebounds in the first
half, when France took a 41-31 lead at the break.
Jeanneau Aymeric hit a 3-pointer with four minutes left in the
third quarter to give France a 57-37 lead.
Alejandro Barrios led Venezuela with 15 points.
France, which led the entire game, finished group play with a
3-2 record and will face the third-place team in Group B in the
second round on Sunday.
Serbia and Montenegro, Lebanon and Nigeria all finished 2-3, but
Serbia-Montenegro and Nigeria advanced based on head-to-head
meetings between the three teams.
Nigeria finished third because it beat Serbia-Montenegro in its
Argentina won Group A with a 5-0 record and will play New
Zealand in the round of 16 on Saturday.
Venezuela finished last in Group A with a 1-4 record.
Nigeria 95, Lebanon 72
SENDAI, Japan -- Ebi Ere scored 19 points as Nigeria defeated Lebanon 95-72 and advanced to the second round.
Nigeria (2-3) had six players score in double figures, ending Lebanon's chances to advance to the round of 16.
Lebanon, which also finished the preliminary round with a 2-3 record, upset France 74-73 on Wednesday and could have advanced to the second round with a win.
"Obviously, we were tired from the France game," said
Lebanon's Rony Fahed, who had a team-leading 23 points. "Nigeria
had a great game and I congratulate them."
The team was playing without American coach Paul Coughter, who missed the game with a pulmonary infection. Assistant coach Khalaf Koussay, a native of Iraq, took over for Coughter.
"At the last world championships, we lost all five games,"
Koussay said. "We won two games here and were competitive. We're
proud and the Lebanese people are proud of us."
Lebanon was also playing without one of its best players, Paul Khoury, who had visa problems and was stranded in the United
"We went through a lot to get here," Fahed said. "We had the
war, we couldn't prepare properly, some of our best players
couldn't make it and our coach got sick. We wanted to qualify, but
United States, Italy, China, Slovenia advance
China 78, Slovenia 77
SAPPORO, Japan -- Yao Ming scored 36 points and Wang Shipeng
made a 3-pointer as time expired to give China a victory over
The Chinese (2-3) won their final two Group D games and advanced.
Sani Becirovic scored 20 points for Slovenia, which could have
clinched a berth in the second round in its world championships
debut, but instead was forced to wait with the Chinese for the
results of the second game and hope a three-way tiebreaker worked
out in its favor.
With four NBA players on its roster, Slovenia (2-3) was thought
to be the second-best team behind the United States in Group D. But
the Slovenians blew double-digit leads in two of their losses --
including a 14-point lead in this one.
Italy 73, Puerto Rico 72
SAPPORO, Japan -- Carlos Arroyo missed a running 3-pointer
as time expired, and Puerto Rico was knocked out with a 73-72 loss to Italy.
Puerto Rico (2-3) finished in a three-way tie for third place in
Group D with Slovenia and China, but lost the three-way tiebreaker
with the worst point differential.
Denis Marconato and Mason Rocca each had 10 points for Italy (4-1), which clinched second place in Group D. The Italians' only loss was to group-champion United States -- a game Italy led by 12
points in the second half.
Elias Ayuso scored 25 points for Puerto Rico, but Arroyo had a miserable game and finished with only eight on 2-of-12 shooting.
Arroyo, whose average of 24.5 points entering the game was
second-best in the tournament, also was called for a crucial
traveling call on a fast break with just over a minute left.
Puerto Rico would have finished second with a victory, and led 43-38 at halftime. But the Puerto Ricans had only two field goals
and 13 points in the third quarter, falling behind 59-56 heading to
the final period.
Rick Apodaca and Daniel Santiago each had 12 points for Puerto Rico.
Greece, Turkey, Lithuania, Australia advance
Australia 93, Qatar 46
HAMAMATSU, Japan -- Mark Worthington scored 17 points and
Australia used a 16-0 run to open the second half, beating Qatar
and reaching the second round.
Australia will play the United States in the round of 16.
Qatar started quickly, taking an 11-7 lead -- helped by Turki
Ali's two 3-pointers in the first three minutes.
The game remained tight throughout the first quarter as
Australia led Qatar, the third-place team at last year's Asian
championship, by one after the first break.
The Australians, who led 41-30 at halftime, went on a 16-point
run to open the second half to take a 27-point lead.
The loss ensured Qatar would finish the tournament winless. The
team will hold a two-week training camp in Italy beginning early
next month and take part in two tournaments before the end of the
year, the Persian Gulf regionals and the Asian Games at Doha in
November and early December.
Lithuania 79, Brazil 74
HAMAMATSU, Japan -- Arvydas Macijauskas scored 21 points and Giedrius Gustas added 19 as Lithuania advanced to the second round with a 79-74 win over Brazil.
Australia, which beat Qatar 93-46 earlier Thursday, also moved into the second round with Lithuania's win.
If Brazil (1-4), had won, a complicated tiebreaking formula involving point differentials would have been used to determine
which two of the three teams advanced.
Greece and Turkey are the other teams from Group C to advance to
the round of 16 beginning this weekend. Lithuania (3-2) finished
third and Australia fourth.
Lithuania began quickly, leading 35-17 after the first quarter. Brazil came back and trailed 48-37 at the half before pulling to
within seven points midway through the third.
The Brazilians cut the deficit to two points in the final two
minutes, but Lithuania sealed the victory with late foul shots.
Greece 76, Turkey 69
HAMAMATSU, Japan -- Lazaros Papadopoulos and Mihalis
Kakiouzis each scored 17 points to lead Greece to a 76-69 win over Turkey, remaining unbeaten.
The win clinched first place in Group C and advanced European champion Greece to a second-round game against China this weekend. Turkey (4-1) faces Slovenia in the next round.
Serkan Erdogan led Turkey with 30 and Sofoklis Schortsianitis
added 14 points for Greece.
Greece led 24-19 at the end of the first quarter but trailed 42-37 at halftime. It outscored Turkey 17-5 in the third quarter.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.