FIBA World Cup

HIGHLIGHTS: FIBA World Cup 2023 – September 3 games

JR Isaga

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HIGHLIGHTS: FIBA World Cup 2023 – September 3 games


The last day of the 2023 FIBA World Cup second round comes down to a handful of crucial do-or-die matches, with the Araneta Coliseum featuring two of them ahead of the MOA Arena-exclusive final phase

MANILA, Philippines – Win or go home.

Far away from complicated tiebreakers and scenarios that flooded the last few days of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the final second-round game day – highlighted by the last two games at the fabled Araneta Coliseum – comes down to teams needing pure, simple wins to advance.

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Italy vs Puerto Rico

Italy booked a quarterfinal ticket after disposing of Puerto Rico, 73-57, on the final day of second-round action.

The Italians, who even yielded the lead, 43-41, in the third quarter, warded off the Puerto Ricans’ comeback attempts in the second half before righting the ship in the closing minutes.

Stefano Tonut and Giampaolo Ricci dropped 15 points each, while Simone Fontecchio posted a double-double of 12 points and 12 boards. 


Thanks to their last wins that came in similar, razor-thin fashion, both Italy and Puerto Rico are now on the cusp of the final phase, and will now determine who gets that coveted spot in a 4 pm showdown.

Super scorers Simone Fontecchio for Italy and Tremont Waters for Puerto Rico are once again expected to pace the game’s flow, with the first one falling into a slump likely spelling doom for his own squad.

Dominican Republic vs Serbia


Both aching from their first setbacks in an otherwise stellar World Cup run, mighty Serbia and Dominican Republic are now set to vent their frustrations on each other in a blockbuster 8 pm main event.

Serbian NBA player Bogdan Bogdanovic will aim to bounce back from a horrific 1-of-13 three-point shooting night against Italy. Dominicana’s 2023 World Cup top scorer Karl-Anthony Towns, meanwhile, will try to build momentum from his 39-point explosion on the Puerto Ricans that ultimately still fell short.

Greece vs Montenegro

Despite failing to advance to the quarterfinals, Montenegro closed out the 2023 FIBA World Cup on a positive note as it overcame a late scare by Greece for a 73-69 escape. 

Chicago Bulls star center Nikola Vucevic ended the tournament with another solid performance of 19 points and 7 rebounds for the Montenegrins.


Both eliminated from final phase contention, powerhouses Greece and Montenegro will now just slug it out for bragging rights and national pride at 4:45 pm.

Giorgios Papagiannis and Thomas Walkup will be tasked anew to pace the Greek forces, while NBA center Nikola Vucevic will be counted on one last time to lead the underrated Montenegrin charge.

USA vs Lithuania

Lithuania kept its undefeated run in the 2023 FIBA World Cup going as it completed a huge 110-104 upset win against the erstwhile unbeaten USA. 

The red-hot Lithuanians rode on a well-balanced attack on offense as seven players breached double-digit scoring, with Vaidas Kariniauskas and Mindaugas Kuzminskas dropping 15 and 14 points, respectively. 

Anthony Edwards was the lone bright spot for the Americans in the losing effort as he exploded for his new tournament-high 35 points on 14-of-26 field-goal clip.


USA and Lithuania, two of the world’s best basketball programs, gauge their strength for the upcoming final phase in a no-bearing blockbuster showdown at 8:40 pm.

The stars will definitely still be out even in likely limited time for both teams, with the Americans flaunting the athleticism of NBA All-Star Anthony Edwards against the brute strength of Lithuanian enforcer Jonas Valanciunas.



Australia def. Georgia, 100-84. (Patty Mills 19 points, 5 assists; Dante Exum 18 points)


Latvia def. Brazil, 104-84. (Andrejs Gražulis – 24 points, 5 assists)

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