• Spain and Argentina for 5th place play-off
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Sep 11, 2010-

 Spain used a near perfect fourth quarter to see off Slovenia 97-80 and book their place in the 5th place game at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

They will take on Russia or Argentina in Sunday’s last classification game.

Entering the final frame up 64-62, Sergio Scariolo’s side hit five of seven three-pointers as they outscored their opponents 33-18.

Juan Carlos Navarro – who came off the bench in the second half – had 10 points and handed out five assists in the last 10 minutes as Spain built a good head of steam.

Navarro finished with game-highs of 26 points – 23 of them after the break – and seven assists.

He got the hot hand upon checking in midway through the third quarter and that proved to be the turning point of the game.

Slovenia led 56-51 before the Spanish guard took over, accounting for 11 of his team’s last 13 points in the period as they opened the fourth quarter with a two-point edge.

Navarro turned provider in the last frame, finding Fran Vazquez for an easy two inside and then spotting a wide open Sergio Llull, whose wing three-pointer made it 76-69.

Llull connected again from beyond the arc for 81-73 and Navarro hit a long bomb from the top of the key for the game’s first double-digit lead 84-73. He then fed Vazquez for a thunderous dunk that put the game out of reach at 88-75.

Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez, who put the finishing touches to the game.

Slovenia looked to have the game in hand as they led for the better part of the first three quarters.

Jaka Lakovic made his first three attempts from beyond the arc and Goran Dragic had eight points in the first period as Mehmet Becirovic’s men led 23-16.

Spain got within one on Felipe Reyes’ acrobatic tip-in off a missed Navarro lay-up early in the second quarter.

Sani Becirovic then made another big shot and Samo Udrih provided four quick points off the bench to cap a 6-0 run that put the Slovenians up 29-22.

Lakovic connected from way beyond the arc to beat the shot clock as Slovenia went up 41-32.

Alex Mumbru then nailed a jumper in the lane and hit a pair from the charity stripe before Marc Gasol made a lay-up in the dying seconds as Spain finished the first half with a 6-0 run, cutting the deficit to 41-38.

The third quarter was a free-throw shooting procession for Slovenia as they went to the line 20 times and made 16 of their attempts.

Spain got their first lead, 45-44 on a Fernandez lay-up but he soon headed to the bench after picking up his fourth foul as Sergio Scariolo’s side were in the penalty with 6:31 to go in the period.

Argentina overcame some free-throw shooting woes to beat Russia 73-61 and will face Spain in Sunday’s 5th place game.

Sergio Hernandez’s team made just 10 of 20 attempts from the foul line but overcame that thanks to the scoring punch provided down the stretch by Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino – who combined for 53 points on the night.

Russia got within 58-56 on Timofey Mozgov’s basket with 6:50 left to play, but he picked up his fourth foul 39 seconds later and had to go to the bench and eventually fouled out.

That played in Argentina’s favour as they outscored Russia 17-5 the rest of the way as Fabricio Oberto and Scola had more room to manoeuvre inside.

Evgeny Voronev buried a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 67-61 with just under two minutes to play, but Delfino answered with a long bomb of his own.

The loss means Russia will face Slovenia in Saturday’s 7th place game.

Scola, Oberto and Delfino quite literally did all the scoring as Argentina took a 15-11 first quarter lead.

Scola, who was held to 13 points on five of 16 shooting from the field in his team’s quarter-final defeat to Lithuania on Thursday, had eight points in the opening period alone, with Oberto adding four and Delfino three.

The Argentinians extended their advantage early in the second period, with Delfino burying a corner three and Herman Jasen scoring inside. They had their first double-digit, 22-11, when Luis Cequeira made a pair of free-throws.

Russia though fought back thanks to Sergey Monya’s shooting stroke, as he buried three three-pointers to cut the deficit to 23-20.

Delfino and Oberto answered right back to stretch Argentina’s lead back to seven, 27-20.

Russian point guards Sergey Bykov and Dmitriy Khvostov – forming a rarely used backcourt – provided timely baskets in the late stages of the second quarter. The former converted a three-point play to narrow the gap to 32-30 and the latter knocked down a long bomb with 3.7 seconds left to get within 34-33.

Scola had the last word, scoring inside just before the buzzer for 17 first-half points and a 36-33 advantage.

Delfino had five quick points at the start of the third quarter to bump the lead up to 41-33, before Anton Ponkrashov and Khvostov – both starting the second half – combined for six quick points and cut the deficit to 44-41.

Pablo Prigioni knocked down a deep three-pointer that gave Argentina some breathing room at 49-43, before Monya scored in the paint and then buried a long bomb from the corner that beat the shot clock and got his team within 49-48.

Delfino made a free-throw and the game was tied at 50 when Mozgov scored just inside the final minute of the period. Scola then made one of two foul shots.

 Andrey Vorontsevich caught a lob off an inbound pass to give Russia their first lead of the night, 52-51, with nine seconds to go.

 That left enough time for Leonardo Gutierrez who knocked down a three-pointer as time expired to give Argentina a 54-52 lead heading into the final frame.

Sasha Kaun and Viktor Khryapa did not play for Russia, while Hernan Jasen did not play in the fourth quarter for Argentina after picking up an injury.


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