Spain and France will meet already in the quarterfinal
Olympic Basketball Tournament is heating up, the previous night was completed the group stage of the competition, and today follows the quarterfinals preview. In a thrilling ending of the competition in Group B, Brazil achieved a Pyrrhic victory over Nigeria 86:69 Spain was convincing against Argentina and triumphed with 92:73, while in a match that was deciding the group winner Croatia defeated Lithuania with the result 90:81.
In the quarterfinals expecting us several derby matches, and already then one of the favorites will finish the competition, and the most exciting duel will be between Spain and France, while the remaining couples are Australia-Lithuania, USA-Argentina and Croatia-Serbia.
The first will come out on the court selections of Australia and Lithuania. Boomers as one of the most pleasant surprises of the Olympic tournament group stage ended in second place, previously beating France and Serbia. The guard duo Mills-Dellavedova seems impressive on the court and so far represented an enigma for opponents. Patty Mills is a brutal executor, while Matthew Dellavedova organizes the offense and is pass-first guard. Andrew Bogut also plays excellent at the tournament and a duel with Jonas Valanciunas may be the key in this game. Apart from Valanciunas, point guard Mantas Kalnietis plays brilliantly, while Mindaugas Kuzminskas now plays variable. Both teams are playing very firm and with a lot of duels. Lithuanians are slight favorites in this match, especially because of the experience, but will have to do their best to beat unpleasant Australia.
The match for survival in the tournament will play Spain and France, the two teams that in recent years become major rivals. This will also be the most exciting duel, as both teams are candidates for the medal. Spaniards have unconvincingly started the tournament, suffered two unexpected defeats, after which they intensified the rhythm and routinely mastered the remaining opponents. On the other hand, the French did not sparkling, but had no trouble in the competition of weak Venezuela and China. There is no mystery between these two teams, will decide shades, but also a lot of charge because of the great importance of the meeting. Veteran Pau Gasol is the only in the team of Spain that the whole tournament play at a high level, and with him very well played and Nikola Mirotic. Perhaps the most consistent in the French team were Tony Parker and Joffrey Lauvergne, with the occasional flash of Nando de Colo and Thomas Huertel. The French are an athletic superior team, but the Spaniards are more explosive and faster. This match will decide the quality of defense, especially in the paint. The only thing that is certain before this encounter is the fact that one of the greats of world basketball will not have a chance to climb to the victory stand.
After the big derby, await us the meeting between United States and Argentina. The United States expectedly completed the group stage undefeated but did not seem convincing as some previous national teams. On the quality of American players everything is known and the legendary Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski last time off the bench led national team. However, it was Argentina first team that caused defeat of “Dream Team” at the World Cup in 2002, when most of today’s composition of the Gauchos was part of the team. Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino are the players who then inflicted big problems to the Americans, but the question is how much now they have the strength to resist Kevin Durant and his teammates. The United States are an absolute favorite in this match and it is difficult to expect that Argentina will be able to confront them seriously.
The last quarter-final pair makes up Croatia and Serbia, teams that were once together formed a powerful team of former Yugoslavia, which dominated the late twentieth century. Both teams have qualified for the Olympic Games on the qualification tournaments, and had the opportunity to meet during the preparation, when Serbia was better. In fact, when they first met in 1997, Croatia is without victory. However, it will not mean anything now, because from the previous official match of these two teams have passed six years. Croatia in a good mood arrived at the Olympic tournament, recorded some unexpected victories, but they were also unexpectedly defeated by Nigeria. On the other hand, Serbia lost to Australia and France, but the best match played against the NBA stars from the US team. The main hope of the Croatia is Bojan Bogdanovic, who is in great shape, while a major player of Serbia is a lucid playmaker Milos Teodosic. This Balkan classic will decide game in defense, and the slight advantage is on the side of Serbia, primarily psychological due to the current tradition.