|4||F. SAN EMETERIO||14||2/3||66.7||2/3||66.7||0/0||0||0/0||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||4|
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IZMIR (FIBA World Championship) - Spain have recorded their first win of the FIBA World Championship, 101-84, and now ready themselves for a crucial clash with Lithuania on Tuesday.
While the final margin was 17 points, New Zealand made them work for it, and the crowd saw an entertaining duel on the wings between Spain’s Juan-Carlos Navarro (18 points) and Rudy Fernandez (12 points), and New Zealand’s Kirk Penney (21 points, 3 assists) and Thomas Abercrombie (19 points).
The Spanish frontcourt duo of Marc Gasol (22 points) and Jorge Garbajosa (14 points) also had good outings, as did New Zealand’s Phill Jones with 15 points.
After the victory Gasol visited with FIBATV.Com.
New Zealand coach Nenad Vucinic experimented with his starting line-up, giving the inexperienced pair of Alex Pledger and Jeremy Kench valuable experience against the world champions.
But Spain made them pay, running off a 15-5 run over the first 3:31 thanks to two triples from Navarro and a stunning reverse alley-oop from Rudy Fernandez.
Once Tall Black regulars Abercrombie, Craig Bradshaw and Lindsay Tait hit the floor it was a different story though, with New Zealand outscoring Spain 39-33 for the rest of the half thanks to superstar Penney and Abercrombie.
Penney had 16 points in the first 16 minutes while Abercrombie was on top in his duel with Fernandez, slamming home three spectacular dunks on his way to 13 points for the half.
Vucinic went back to his original line-up to start the second half and Spain promptly peeled off 13-2 run in less than three minutes. While New Zealand would again bounce back with their regulars on court – winning the remainder of the quarter – a match winning lead had been established.
Both teams have a rest day on Monday before resuming on Tuesday, with New Zealand facing a crunch game against former coach Tab Baldwin and Lebanon.
Kirk Penney: I would like to congratulate Spain. Spain made a good effort. While we had a chance at second half, Spain’s bounce-back comes instantly. We tried to be careful, but we lost.
Nenad Vucinic: Spain deserved to win. We experienced some difficulties in painted area, Spain showed some solid defence. We could have play better unless we made some mistakes.
Sergio Scariolo: I think we were succsesful. Generally we showed good and solid performance. It was hard to defence to NZ but we made it through. We played two times with LIT and it was difficult. We will show a cautitious play and try to win.
Raul: We have to improve lot. NZ played tough. Almost we can’t shot from three. But we made some advances. We are happy to win. LIT is competitive and talented team. But I think we are ready and hope we will win.
ANKARA (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Greece prevailed 83-80 in a hard fought and exciting game at Ankara Arena.
Vasileios Spanoulis won his duel against JJ Barea, scoring half of his personal Greek National Team record 28 points in the final frame, including hitting all eight of his free-throw attempts in the last quarter.
There was little to separate both sides in a game that saw 22 lead changes and nine ties. It came down to Greece getting Puerto Rico over the foul limit and hitting from the charity stripe.
Barea and Carmelo Lee buried early three-pointers to put Puerto Rico – who were without injured star guard Carlos Arroyo – up 11-6 before Konstantinos Tsartsaris and Vasileios Spanoulis replied with long bombs of their own to edge Greece in front 14-13.
The teams went back and forth until Nathan Peavy connected from long range in the dying seconds of the period to put Puerto Rico up 23-21.
Tsartaris converted two three-point plays to put the Greeks up 28-24.
Barea then took over, scoring 12 of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter to give Manolo Cintron’s team a 41-35 lead at the break.
Ricardo Sanchez buried back-to-back three-pointers to put Puerto Rico up 47-38 early in the third quarter.
Greece answered with a 14-4 run, capped off by a Dimitris Diamantidis lay-up to lead 52-51 midway through the period. Ioannis Bourousis hit from beyond the arc to put the Greeks in front 59-56 heading into the final frame.
Barea got his team within 62-60 and then found Angel Vassallo for a wing three-pointer that had Puerto Rico in front 63-62. Ramos pushed it to 65-62 but Spanoulis then hit from long range and Bourousis had a spectacular putback that made it 67-65 for Greece with six minutes remaining.
Carmelo Lee broke a 70 all deadlock with a wing three. However, Puerto Rico got over the foul limit and Spanoulis was clutch at the free-throw line, giving his side an 81-75 cushion with 32 seconds to go and they held on.
Jonas Kazlauskas (Greece head coach): “I’m happy with this team. We had some problems. One was the atmosphere and the other was facing bigger players. We changed everything in the second half.”
Ioannis Bourousis (Greece centre): “This was a tough game for us because Puerto Rico played very well. We shot well inside and out and they did too. It was a very good game.”
Manolo Cintron (Puerto Rico head coach): “This was a great game. There is no free-throw shooting (team) like Greece. They were great.”
JJ Barea (Puerto Rico guard): “It was a great game to watch until the fourth quarter. Greece are a great team. We couldn’t keep them off the foul line and they made their free-throws.”