BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Turkey forward Emir Preldzic made his second of two last-minute 3-pointers only 5 seconds from the finish to stun Australia 65-64 at the Basketball World Cup on Sunday, sending the reigning silver medallists into the quarterfinals.
Turkey will play Lithuania on Tuesday at the Palau Sant Jordi after Jonas Valanciunas scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as Lithuania held on to beat New Zealand 76-71.
In Madrid, Neto scored 21 points as Brazil exploded in the second half to rout Argentina 85-65 in what became a lopsided battle of South American rivals.
Serbia awaits Brazil on Wednesday after guard Bogdan Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers and scored 21 points to help eliminate Greece 90-72.
Australia was winning by five points with a minute to go when Preldzic struck from long range. And after Australia lost the ball for a shot clock violation, Preldzic let the final seconds wind down before unleashing another 3-pointer under duress to snatch the win in dramatic fashion.
Preldzic and guard Sinan Guler had 16 points each to lead the Turks. San Antonio Spur forward Aron Baynes scored 15 for Australia, which had been up by 12 points in the third period.
“We found Preldzic and Preldzic found incredible shots,” said Turkey coach Ergin Ataman. “Of course that last shot was lucky for us. Sorry to Australia. Today I think they played better than us, but basketball is like this.”
Argentina’s Pablo Prigioni scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half to pace it to a 36-33 advantage.
But the second half was all Brazil, which went on two identical 18-6 bursts to start both the third and the fourth quarters to run out to a 20-point lead with under five minutes to go.
Brazil’s three NBA centers- Varejao, Nene and Tiago Splitter- limited Argentina’s Luis Scola to nine points, and Brazil’s shooters picked Argentina apart.
Marquinhos Vieira added 13 points for Brazil, while Splitter and Barbosa chipped in with 10 each.
Greece needed a wild card invitation to compete in Spain, but it had appeared to re-establish its credentials as a perennial medal contender by winning all five games to claim first place in its group to reach this first knockout round.
But Serbia led throughout except when Greece managed to edge ahead by a point late in the second quarter, and the Greeks imploded in the fourth period, falling behind by as much as 20.
Milwaukee Bucks centre Miroslav Raduljica added 16 points for the Serbs, while Milos Teodosic scored 13. Guard Nick Calathes had 14 points for Greece.
The first half between the two traditional European powers did not disappoint.
Both moved the ball with precision and shot high percentages of almost 60 percent from 2-point range in an impressive 20 minutes of basketball.
After drawing level several times, Nikos Zsis hit a 3-pointer to put Greece ahead for the first and only time with 1:02 left in the second period.
Serbia reclaimed the initiative immediately when Raduljica scored inside and Nikola Kalinic drove baseline to slam the ball and pick up a foul, letting him convert the 3-point play for a 46-42 lead at halftime.
Serbia then dominated the second half, turning what had been an evenly matched contest into an easy win.
Back in Barcelona, Lithuania lined up to observe the Tall Blacks’ ceremonial “haka,” and then went to work overpowering New Zealand with its taller inside players.
But guard Corey Webster, who finished with 26 points, spurred New Zealand’s rally from 15 points down to take a one-point lead when Lithuania went scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter.
Valanciunas answered by making four free throws and two inside baskets for the reigning bronze medallists. The Toronto Raptors centre also pulled in 13 rebounds and blocked three shots, while guard Martynas Pocius chipped in with 11 points.
“Jonas played really well and that’s what we expected,” said Lithuania coach Jonas Kazlauskas. “He has gotten stronger and has more experience. Now he respects his opponents even more and knows the price of every game.”
In other quarterfinals, the United States plays Slovenia in Barcelona on Tuesday, and Spain faces France in Madrid on Wednesday.