Spain tops Poland 90-78, moves into World Cup semis

Ricky Rubio scored 19 points, including two 3-pointers in a game-deciding 11-0 run in the final minutes, and No. 2 Spain advanced to the World Cup semifinals by topping Poland 90-78 on Tuesday night in Shanghai.

Willy Hernangomez scored 18 points, Rudy Fernandez added 16 and Rubio had a game-high nine assists for Spain (6-0), which had been beaten in the quarterfinal round of the past two World Cups — by France in 2014, and by Serbia in 2010 when the tournament was still called the world championship.

Spain prevailed this time, and will face either Australia or the Czech Republic, which meet Wednesday, in the semifinals at Beijing on Friday.

The last time Spain made the semifinals was 2006 — when it won the tournament.

A.J. Slaughter scored 19 points and Adam Waczynski finished with 15 for Poland (4-2), which is assured of finishing no worse than eighth at its first appearance at the World Cup since 1967.

Poland cut the margin to 76-72 on a layup by Waczynski with 5:42 remaining, but Spain took control over the next three minutes.

Argentina 97, Serbia 87: Luis Scola scored 20 points, Facundo Campazzo finished with 18 points and 12 assists and Argentina earned its first trip to the semifinals in 13 years by ousting Serbia 97-87 in a quarterfinal in Dongguan, China.

Argentina (6-0), which will face either the U.S. or France in Friday’s semifinals; they played early Wednesday PDT.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 21 points for Serbia (4-2), which got 18 points from Nemanja Bjelica and a 16-point, 10-rebound effort from All-NBA center Nikola Jokic. The team came into the tournament fully expecting to win gold — after losing title games to the U.S. at the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, then rolling to wins in its first two games in China by a combined 105 points.

“We put a lot of work in this summer,” Bjelica said. “It’s hard. But it’s basketball. There are more important things.”

The U.S. sent its scouting group — Jeff Van Gundy, Lloyd Pierce and Ime Udoka among them — to watch the game.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Spain-tops-Poland-90-78-moves-into-World-Cup-14429826.php.

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