MEN'S QUARTERFINAL ROUND-UP
There was very little to choose between
Both teams went neck and neck for the first three quarters before Carlos Delfino scored back-to-back three pointers to put
The South Americans never trailed after that and led 80-75 when
“This Olympic tournament has been of a high level and we have to acknowledge
“We are proud to have beaten a Greek team that has played with great intelligence and quality.”
Manu Ginobili had a game-high 24 points and was six of 13 from long range.
Carlos Delfino chipped in with 23 points, but played a more crucial role in compensating for the absence of Andres Nocioni.
Nocioini hurt his knee and asked to be replaced after scoring 12 points.
“Nocioni asked to come out of the game and for a player like Nocioni to ask to be changed, he must have felt an acute pain,” Hernandez said.
“I feel fantastic,” Delfino said.
“The ball just kept going in when the team needed it most. I have to thank the work done by team-mates who freed me up to take those shots.”
Antonis Fotsis led the Greek charge with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
“I am very glad because my players participated in the best games of the tournament,” said
“Considering the performance, both teams could have gone to the final four.
It was their rock-solid defense and sharp rebound collection which highlighted
Kobe Bryant scored big for the first time in the tournament, with a game-high 25 points. But what mattered more for Mike Krzyzewski’s men was the 57-28 advantage they held in the rebounds.
The fact that they scored as many as nine points in the first quarter, off second chance, in 13 rebound attempts, spoke for the Americans’ struggle with their shooting.
“They are a force to be reckoned with. They caused us a lot of problems. We are very happy to have beaten
James accounted for 16 points for the game, nine rebounds and five steals.
“We understand we are not going to break things open in the first period,” Bryant said.
“We have to wear teams down. We come in waves. Usually in the second or third period is when we can bust things open.”
Bryant continued the ‘redeeming’ run with two three-pointers and three more points, as the
Mills would go on to top the scoring for his side with 20 points.
“In my mind, they (
Seasoned campaigner Sarunas Jasikevicius led the Lithuanian quest to return to the podium with a stellar-shooting show.
The Panathinaikos Athens guard sunk five of his six attempts from behind the arc in a 7/8 floor record and led the scoring for the game with 23 points. He found success with all his four free-throws.
“It always helps when the three-pointers are going in,” Jasikevicius said.
Ramunas Siskauskas, who played along side Jasikevicius, when
Linas Kleiza played only 18 minutes, but led the rebounds for
China managed to keep the scores close at the end of the first quarter, but Lithuania pulled away with a 14-6 run midway through the second that gave them a 41-30 at half-time.
Jasikevicius had 12 points and Ramunas Siskauskas 11 of his 15 in the first half.
They went ahead by 17 points over the next ten minutes before sealing their fifth consecutive semi-final appearance.
“We were strong in
“In my opinion, our key to winning was strong defense,”
Yao Ming led the scoring for
“I was thinking that we can do something more. But not everything has to do with practice and games,” said
“I think we need more experience, need more players in other clubs, other countries,” added the coach of Lithuanian origin.
Pau Gasol scored nine out of game-high 20 points, in the opening ten minutes to help
“They played aggressive defense, never letting us move the ball easily,”
“But we missed many open shots. It’s difficult to beat a
Without Mark Popovic, who sat out with an injury for the third game in a row,
“We are happy with the result,” said Gasol, who played his 100th game for
“It was an important win in the quarter-finals and it is something we wanted to do in the Olympics.”
“I’m happy that we are in the semi-finals, but we still have two games left to play. We need to be intense from the start as we were today.”
“That defense lasted for a long time in the game. The offense has been inferior to our defense and that perhaps had to do with the fact we were leading,” said Garcia Reneses, who replaced the popular Pepu Hernandez at the helm weeks before the Olympics.
USA 116 (Kobe Bryant 25, Lebron James 16, Carmelo Anthony 15, Deron Williams 10, Chris Bosh 10) bt Australia 85 (Patrick Mills 20, Saville Glen 13, Joe Ingles 11, Brad Newley 10). Quarterwise Scores: 25-24, 55-43, 89-61.