Greece guard Thomas Walkup (0) makes a pass away from Lithuania guard Tomas Dimsa (33) during the second half of a Basketball World Cup second round match in Manila, Philippines Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Luka Doncic and Slovenia are headed to the World Cup quarterfinals. So are the U.S., Germany and Lithuania.
Out of the mix: Olympic bronze medalist Australia.
Half of the World Cup quarterfinals field is now set, after those four nations won their opening second-round games Friday to secure spots in the knockout round.
The U.S. rallied to hold off Montenegro 85-73 in Group J, and Lithuania topped Greece 92-67 in the late game in that group. The Americans and Lithuania are both 4-0 now; Greece and Montenegro fell to 2-2 and cannot catch the leaders with one game remaining for those teams in Round 2.
The top two teams in each of four, four-team, second-round groups make the quarterfinals.
Slovenia topped Australia 91-80 and Germany ran past Georgia 100-73 in Group K second-round games Friday. Those outcomes ensured that Slovenia and Germany will finish first and second in that group, in some order, and both are off to the quarterfinals.
Defending champion Spain and Serbia, two of the favorites to reach the quarterfinals, were upset and will need to win games on Sunday to have a chance of making the last eight.
Latvia defeated Spain 74-69, using a 27-11 run in the fourth quarter to pull away. Italy defeated Serbia 78-76 as Simone Fontecchio scored 30 points and added seven rebounds.
And in Group I, Puerto Rico and Italy won, Serbia and the Dominican Republic lost — and that means all four teams are 3-1, facing win-or-go-home games Sunday.
GROUP J — LITHUANIA 92, GREECE 67
At Manila, Rokas Jokubaitis scored 19 points, Ignas Brazdeikis added 18 and Lithuania (4-0) outscored Greece 53-24 in the second half.
Jonas Valanciunas and Elmantas Bendzius each had 15 for the winners.
Thomas Walkup finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Greece (2-2). Giannoulis Larentzakis scored 17 for Greece.
GROUP I — PUERTO RICO 102, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 97
At Manila, Tremont Waters had 37 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, and Puerto Rico kept its World Cup hopes alive by winning a wild one over the Dominican Republic.
George Conditt scored 18 for Puerto Rico, which led by 16 points, then got down by 11, then came back to win anyway.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points and 10 rebounds for the Dominican Republic. Andres Feliz had 22 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
GROUP I — ITALY 78, SERBIA 76
At Manila, Fontecchio scored 30 points and added seven rebounds, and Marco Spissu had 14 points for Italy (3-1) to put itself in the thick of the race for the quarterfinals.
Italy hit 11 of 21 of its 3-pointers, which proved to be the difference against a poor-shooting Serbia.
The loss was the first in the tournament for Serbia (3-1). Bogdanovic led the losers with 18 points, but hit only 1 of 13 3-point attempts. As a team, Serbia made 7 of 31 from 3-point range. Ognjen Dobric added 15 points for Serbia.
On Sunday, Italy faces Puerto Rico and Serbia has the Dominican Republic. It’s real simple: The winners go to the quarterfinals and the losers are out of the World Cup.
GROUP K — SLOVENIA 91, AUSTRALIA 80
At Okinawa, Luka Doncic scored 19 points, Mike Tobey added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Slovenia advanced. It was a rematch of the bronze-medal game in the Tokyo Olympics, won by Australia.
Klemen Prepelic had 11 points and Gregor Hrovat added 10 for Slovenia (4-0), which never trailed.
Josh Giddey had 25 points for Australia (2-2), and Patty Mills scored 17. Dante Exum added 13.
GROUP K — GERMANY 100, GEORGIA 73
At Okinawa, Maodo Lo scored 18 points, with 16 from Dennis Schroder and Moritz Wagner adding 14, and Germany (4-0) had balanced scoring with six players in double figures.
In a game loaded with NBA talent, San Antonio’s Sandro Mamukelashvili led Georgia (2-2) with 19 points and Goga Bitadze chipped in 15. Tornike Shengelia added 12.
Georgia led for much of the first half, but Germany took control in the last minute and led 22-16 after 10 minutes. Germany held the lead 43-41 at the half and pulled away for good in the third quarter.
On Sunday, Germany plays Slovenia and Georgia goes against Australia.
GROUP J — UNITED STATES 85, MONTENEGRO 73
At Manila, Anthony Edwards scored 17 points, Austin Reaves had 12, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 11 and the Americans overcame a halftime deficit to beat Montenegro in the second-round opener for both teams. The U.S. wound up getting to the quarterfinals, but it was not easy.
Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 16 rebounds for Montenegro, which led 39-38 at the half. Kendrick Perry scored 14 for Montenegro (2-2).
The United States faces Lithuania on Sunday and Montenegro plays Greece.
GROUP L — LATVIA 74, SPAIN 69
At Jakarta, Davis Bertans scored 16 and Rodions Kurucs added 13 and Latvia (3-1) handed defending champion Spain (3-1) its first loss of the World Cup. Spain — which had won 11 consecutive World Cup games — crumbled in the final quarter and was outscored 27-11.
Bertans’ 3-pointer with just under 3 minutes left put Latvia up for good.
Willy Hernangomez led Spain with 14 points and Dario Brizuela and Usman Garuba each had 11.
Spain faces Canada on Sunday and Lativa plays Brazil.
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