The opening day of the 2019 Basketball World Cup saw the favourites (Serbia, Spain, Argentina, Italy) claim easy victories.
In the first group, hosts China defeated Cote d’Ivoire (55-70) at the sold-out Wukesong Arena, thanks to a 26-41 run in the second half.
In the other match, Poland beat Venezuela (80-69) and took the upper hand in the battle of qualification.
China will face Poland on Monday (02/09) and Venezuela will play against Cote d’Ivoire.
Argentina made a great start in the tournament and dominated Korea (95-69), with the legendary Luis Scola leading the way with 15 points and nine rebounds.
In the other match, Russia closed the game against Nigeria on a 19-6 run and earned a big victory in its opening game in the competition (82-77).
Thanks to this win, the Russians came very close to the qualification to the second round. If they beat Korea on Monday (02/09), they will come one step away from clinching their spot in the next round.
On the other hand, Nigeria has to win its next two games to retain its chances for a top two finish. They will clash with Argentina on Monday (02/09).
Spain came back from a double-digit deficit in the second quarter (19-29) and crushed Tunisia (101-62).
The Spaniards outscored their opponents 59-23 in the second half and cruised to the win, with Ricky Rubio setting the tone, with 17 points and nine assists.
In the second game of the group, Puerto Rico came back from a 17-point deficit (70-53) and edged Iran in a late thriller.
David Huertas made back-to-back three-pointers and gave his team the lead (78-78, 78-81), with 16 seconds to go.
Hamed Haddadi tied the game for Iran at 81, with four seconds left. Javier Mojica, though, beat the buzzer and gave Puerto Rico the win (81-83).
Spain will play against Puerto Rico on Monday (02/09) and Tunisia will battle Iran.
On Monday (02/09), Serbia will face the Philippines and Italy will clash with Angola.
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