Mikal Bridges impresses as the Americans easily advance to the FIBA World Cup semifinals in their match against Italy

Sep 6, 2023

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MANHATTAN, New York – Team USA recovered from a heartbreaking setback to end group play by defeating Italy 100-63 to advance to the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup semifinals. Tyrese Haliburton came in second with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting from outside the arc, trailing only Mikal Bridges by four points (on 8-of-11 shooting).

On Friday, September 8 at 8:30 am, Team USA will resume competition. when it takes against the winner of Germany’s match against Latvia (4:45 a.m. ET) on Wednesday.

Scores are as follows:

USA – 24, 22, 37, 17 – 100(final)
Italy – 14, 10, 20, 19 – 63(final)

Meanwhile, Impressive Serbia defeats Lithuania to move to the Semi-Finals

Serbia is a final four squad for the third time in the last four FIBA Basketball World Cup competitions. In the Mall of Asia Arena, they defeated Lithuania 87–68 thanks to another strong shooting performance by Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Serbia placed sixth in China in 2019 after making it to the semifinals in 2010 and the final in 2014. Lithuania will now proceed to Games 5-8 of Classification.

Turning point: Since their second half against Greece, when they went 12-of-16 from outside the arc alone, Lithuania has been the team with the best shooting in the whole competition.

The game against the United States started with a 9-of-9 three-point shooting start, while the first quarter versus Serbia saw another 5-of-6 shooting performance. One issue: even after 10 minutes, they had only a 25-24 lead despite a torrid shooting quarter.

That’s because in this match, coach Svetislav Pesic relied on the defensive pressure, which is his strongest suit. Ognjen Dobric and Aleksa Avramovic pursued Rokas Jokubaitis and Vaidas Kariniuaskas throughout the game, and even if they managed to escape, the Serbian defense continued to force turnover after turnover.

With each fast break point, the Lithuanian section of the crowd grew quieter while the red-blue-white fans behind the Serbian bench raised their voices. It became obvious where the game was going after Bogdan Bogdanovic sank a long three-pointer to conclude the first half at +11.

TCL Player of the Game: Describe a more romantic pairing than Bogdan Bogdanovic and the jersey bearing the letters “SRBIJA” on the front. Before the break, the superstar scored 18 points, finished with 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Since the beginning of the most recent World Cup in 2019, this was his ninth game with 20+ points; no other player has more than seven in that same time frame. Bogdanovic also passed the 400-point threshold in his World Cup career, moving up to become the sixth player to do it this century.

It appears that was the determining aspect in this case. Despite Lithuania committing 15 turnovers, eight of these were also stolen by Serbia, giving Pesic’s squad a 21-8 advantage in points from turnovers.

Svetislav Pesic, the head coach of Serbia, emphasized the collective effort behind their victory, acknowledging it as a team win against an opponent that also prioritizes team-oriented basketball. He expressed his respect for the opposing team’s style of play, which served as motivation for his squad. Pesic highlighted their success in disrupting the opponent’s style of play through high energy and staunch defense. He stressed the importance of playing in this manner consistently and praised their 25 assists and their status as the best fast break team in the World Cup. Pesic concluded by emphasizing the crucial role of defense in achieving their desired style of play.

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