The Philippines will battle Puerto Rico at 1:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. Manila time) on Wednesday in Group B of the 2014 FIBA World Cup at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo in Seville, Spain.
Gilas Pilipinas, led by naturalized player Andray Blatche and skipper Jimmy Alapag fought bravely but bowed to Croatia, 78-81, during the opening day. Gilas was also beaten by Greece, 70-82, early Monday (2 a.m. in Manila).
The Philippines was still playing against 2004 Olympic champion and world no. 3 Argentina at press time on Monday.
Puerto Rico and the Philippines are just the only two teams that still need to post a win in the meet. Puerto Rico lost to Argentina, 75-98, in their opening game and later routed by Senegal, 82-75. The victory was Senegal’s first in the FIBA World Cup since 1998. They lost all five games in 2006 in Japan and they last won a game against Korea, 75-72, in the 13th edition in Athens, Greece in 1998.
Both Gilas Pilipinas and Puerto Rico needed to win at least two games in the preliminary round to make it to the Top Four and advanced into the round of 16-team knockout phase, with the fourth-ranked Group B qualifier facing the emerging No. 1 squad from Group A, which could either be host Spain, Serbia or Brazil.
Meanwhile, the United States and Spain both collected their second straight win at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Sunday (Monday in Manila) while Croatia fought off tough Argentina.
Kenneth Faried led five Americans in double figures with 22 points and Anthony Davis scored 19 as the reigning champions had a fight against Turkey before prevailing 98-77 in a rematch of the 2010 final.
James Harden chipped in 14 points and seven assists for the mighty Americans in Group C.
The rest of the Bilbao group is a mess as the next four teams are all 1-1 after two games, including Turkey, who got 12 points from Cenk Akyol in the loss.
A day after getting beaten down by the Americans, Finland fended off Ukraine 81-76 as Shawn Huff had 23 points and eight rebounds. Both teams are 1-1 as well as Dominican Republic, who beat winless New Zealand 76-63 thanks to 29 points from Francisco Garcia.
Hosts Spain had an easier time in blasting past Egypt 91-54 as Serge Ibaka led the way with 18 points in Group A.
While Spain moved to 2-0, France and Serbia are both 1-1 after the 2013 European champions won their clash 74-73 with Joffrey Lauvergne picking up 19 points and the game winning free throws in the waning seconds.
Brazil posted 2-0 after beating winless Iran 79-50 as Alex Garcia paced Brazil with 12 points.
Both Croatia and Greece top the group with 2-0 records.
Croatia got a balanced effort in grabbing a 90-85 win over Argentina as Krunoslav Simon’s 18 points led five players in double figures.
Argentina dropped to 1-1 despite 30 points and nine rebounds from Luis Scola.
Group D also has two undefeated teams as both Slovenia and Lithuania cruised to wins in Gran Canaria.
The Dragic brothers Goran and Zoran combined for 40 points in Slovenia’s 89-68 win over winless Mexico while Donatas Motiejunas scored 12 points and Jonas Valanciunas collected 11 points and 13 rebounds in Lithuania’s 75-62 win over Angola.
Australia picked up their first win, knocking off South Korea 89-55 as Joe Ingles finished with 17 points.
WITH REPORT FROM AFP