With Group A decided, the final day of pool play action at the Olympic basketball tournament belonged to the teams in Group B with everything still to play for. All six teams were still actively pursuing a quarter-final spot in perhaps the tightest group in Olympic basketball memory.
USA, Australia, Serbia and France advanced from Group A.
HOSTS BRAZIL BEAT NIGERIA, ELIMINATE D’TIGERS
Olympic hosts Brazil did their part to stay alive in the competition by defeating Nigeria 86-69 in the first game of the day.
The result eliminated Nigeria from contention with Brazil needing their neighbours Argentina to beat Spain in order to advance.
Nene led Brazil with 19 points as the hosts overcame a slow start to sprint clear in the second period for, what was a comfortable victory.
Brazil’s victory also confirmed Croatia’s passage into the last eight.
SPAIN OVERPOWER ARGENTINA TO ADVANCE
Brazil’s hopes of a quarter-final spot were quickly dashed as Spain dominated Argentina 92-73 to take the last quarter-final spot remaining.
The game itself though was marred by the referees, who seemingly made their own with questionable calls and technicals called against flopping, which usually carries a warning and nothing more. As a result, the contest was a stop-and-start affair with neither side able to get into a rhythm.
But Spain, who needed to win to make the last eight managed to race into an early 25-15 lead after the first quarter and never look back as Rudy Fernandez led the Eurobasket champions with 23 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Argentina’s qualification was already confirmed despite the loss.
DEADLY CROATIA CLAIM TOP SPOT WITH WIN OVER LITHUANIA
Croatia hit ten of their first twelve three-point attempts, shooting 58 percent from deep overall as they came away with a 90-81 win over Lithuania to take top spot in Group B.
Bojan Bogdanovic hit 22 points and Krunoslav Simon posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Croats fought back from a 21-13 first quarter deficit to a comfortable double-digit lead late on as a 9-0 spurt gave them their biggest lead of the night at 75-53. That made all the difference in a game which in the end came down to that margin.
Lithuania finish in third.
USA vs. Argentina
Spain vs. France
Croatia vs. Serbia
Australia vs. Lithuania
— TalkBasket (@TalkBasket) August 16, 2016