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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA: Serbia depth gasses Puerto Rico out, inches closer to 2nd round

Serbia successfully repelled Puerto Rico’s fightback, taking a 94-77 victory to bring it closer to a second-round berth in Group B of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Eagles can solidify their spot in the next round as they face South Sudan on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m

The Serbians started the game strongly, establishing a lead of as much as 12 points after the first quarter. However, the momentum was taken up a notch by Vanja Marinkovic, Aleksa Avramovic, Dusan Ristic, and Marko Guduric in the second quarter, resulting in a 30-12 output. This performance built a commanding 30-point advantage, with the score at 57-27 going into halftime.

At one point during the second period, Serbia even held a lead of 32 points following a layup by Bogdan Bogdanovic at the 2:29 mark.

Despite Puerto Rico managing to trim the deficit to 10 points at 71-81 after Tremont Waters executed a layup with 5:18 remaining in the game, their efforts were insufficient. Aleksa Avramovic, Bogdanovic, and Marinkovic combined to score 10 consecutive points, extinguishing Puerto Rico’s comeback aspirations.

Serbia’s head coach Svetislav Pesic, celebrating his 74th birthday on the same day, stresses focus on their own team’s performance, noting that Puerto Rico showcased a transition style of play in the second half.

“Generally, I don’t talk about other teams. I talk about our team. You know, Puerto Rico is a transition team and it showed in the second half,” said Pesic.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, who had only scored five points in the first half, came alive in the second half and finished with 17 points, along with five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

#ReadMore  Gilas trim pool to 13 ahead of D-day

Nikola Jovic also contributed 17 points, four assists, and three rebounds for the Eagles.

Aleksa Avramovic added 15 points to the scoreboard, while Milutinov achieved a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds, aiding the Eagles in achieving a 2-0 standing.

Isaiah Pineiro was the top scorer for Puerto Rico with 14 points, followed by Jordan Howerd with 13 points.

Tremont Waters was limited to just nine points.

The Los Magnificos dropped to a 1-1 record in Group B.

Both teams now find themselves in must-win situations to qualify for the second round.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico aims to bounce back against China later that same day at 8:00 p.m.

The Scores:

Serbia 94 – Jovic N. 17, Bogdanovic 17, Avramovic 15, Milutinov 12, Dobric 9, Jovic S. 6, Guduric 5, Marinkovic 5, Ristic 4, Davidovac 2, Simanic 2.

Puerto Rico 77 – Pineiro 14, Howard 13, Thompson Jr. 9, Ford 9, Waters 9, Romero 8, Conditt 5, Ortiz 5, Holland 3, Barea 2, Thompson 0.

Quarterscores: 27-15; 57-27; 75-58; 94-77

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