Serbia crushes Dominican Republic to reach Fiba World Cup quarterfinals
MANILA, Philippines — Serbia vented its ire on the Dominican Republic with a lopsided 112-79 win to move on to the Fiba World Cup final phase on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Licking the wounds of their first loss at the hands of Italy, 76-78, two nights ago, the Serbians came out firing in their do-or-die game, showing no mercy to the Karl-Anthony Towns-led Dominicans.
Serbia placed second in Group I with a 4-1 record, facing unbeaten Lithuania, which stunned Team USA, 110-104, in Group J.
Group I top seed Italy battles Team USA in their first quarterfinal game in 25 years.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, who shot 25 percent from the field last game, picked the best time to deliver a perfect shooting night with 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting in just the first three quarters of the game.
“I’m proud of the way we responded after that loss. It was tough. Mentally tough two days, we were thinking about every mistake. No sleep. A couple of drinks to recover but that’s the tournament,” said Bogdanovic after making all his three triples and tallying five assists and three steals in 22 minutes of action to bounce back from a 1-of-13 three-point clip.
Nikola Milutinov and Vanja Marinkovic were also instrumental with 16 points each as both players missed only one shot, while Stefan Jovic delivered an all-around game with 12 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
The bench of Serbia, led by Filip Petrusev’s 14 points, extended the margin to 38 points, 95-57, after a blistering 20-4 run from the final minutes of the third to early fourth.
Towns ended his first World Cup stint for the Dominican Republic in a decade with 25 points and seven rebounds but committed seven turnovers before he was subbed out in the last three minutes.
The Dominicans went winless in the second round after sweeping their three matches in Group A.
Jean Montero also stepped up for Dominicana with 15 points, while Rigobreto Mendoza and Lester Quinones added 14 and 11 markers, respectively.