SHANGHAI – The United States and Serbia, the two favorites to win the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, have been deprived of completing a title run in the past 24 hours.
Both teams, which usually compete for the trophy in world cup tournaments, will have to settle for fighting for a fifth-to-eighth placed end in this year’s tournament.
Argentina knocked Serbia out of the quarterfinals on Tuesday and on Wednesday France managed to eliminate the US, two-time defending-champion and the most successful team in the world cup.
It was Spain which started the trend of upsets when the Iberian side proved that Serbia was no longer invincible, with an 81-69 win in the second phase of the tournament on Sunday.
Two days later, Serbia was handed its second defeat in China when the Argentinians put on a great three-pointer exhibition storm, winning 97-87.
The American team, before the start of the world cup, had lost a friendly against Australia 98-94 on 24 August, despite prevailing over the Aussies 102-86 two days earlier in another friendly.
The US also showed signs of fragility in the opening phase, as the players needed an extra-time miracle to get past Turkey 93-92.
In the American loss to France 89-79, the French looked much more solid and determined.
Being eliminated from playing for a world cup medal, Serbia and the US will face off against each other in a contest for the fifth-eighth placement finish at the Dongguan Arena on Thursday.
Argentina and France will square off against each other in the first semifinal match on Friday, for the first place in this year’s final.
The second semis match will pit Spain against Australia, as both teams got past Poland and the Czech Republic respectively.