Today was not really Serge Ibaka’s day. In 14 minutes of play, he scored 2 points off of 1-for-4 (25%) shooting, including missing his lone attempt from 3-point range (0%). He did amass 4 rebounds (2 off, 2 def) and a block, but he also posted 3 personal fouls and a turnover. In the end, he finished with a +/- of -9, which is his first time posting a negative in the 4 games he’s played to this point. Granted, his 1 block was good for a share of Team Spain’s stat lead with Pau Gasol and Sergio Rodriguez.
None of that mattered to Team Spain, as an 89-73 victory over Team Serbia gave them a perfect 5-0 record on the way to claiming the A1 spot in the Knockout Round of 16. The loss didn’t hurt Team Serbia much, as Team Iran’s 88-73 victory over Team Egypt yesterday had them firmly locked into the A3 spot regardless of today’s outcome.
Pau Gasol earned his 3rd game MVP award of FIBA 2014 with 20 points, 4 rebounds (3 off, 1 def), an assist, and a block. Marc Gasol led Team Spain in rebounds for the 2nd time of FIBA 2014 with 8 (1 off, 7 def). Ricky Rubio not only led Team Spain in steals with an astounding 7, but also led the team in assists for the 5th straight game with 6. That puts Rubio’s assist total at 29 over a 5-game span.
Nemanja Bjelica ended up as Team Serbia’s top performer with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double that included 3 assists. Although Bogdan Bogdanovic claimed the assist lead for Team Serbia with 4. Milos Teodosic lead the team in steals with 2, while Stefan Bircevic recorded the team’s lone block.
And for those who happen to be curious, Nenad Krstic logged 6 minutes of floor time. During said time, he also scored 2 points off of the same 1-for-4 (25%) shooting as Ibaka, sans the attempt from downtown. He did snag a defensive rebound, but also picked up a personal foul on his way to a -10 in the +/- stat category.
The 2014 FIBA World Championship tournament will resume this weekend with the Knockout Round of 16. Keep checking in with Thunderous Intentions, as I will have a primer for the Knockout Rounds, as well as a preview of Team Spain’s Knockout Round of 16 game. Not only that, but I will also be examining the totality of Serge Ibaka’s play during the 2014 FIBA Group Phase. Don’t miss it!