On the first day of the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, four countries earned key wins that automatically advance them to the Quarter-Finals.
Poland, Serbia, Argentina and Spain all improved upon their undefeated records, securing four of the eight spots in the bracket-style, single elimination stage of the World Cup no matter the result of their second game in the Second Round.
If you missed any of the action, we have you covered below with scores and highlights from each contest!
Poland 79, Russia 74
Poland became the first team to advance to the Quarter-Finals after a tight win over Russia to improve to 4-0.
Mateusz Ponitka was the game's top performer, scoring 14 points to go with nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block for Poland. Adam Waczynski was Poland's highest scorer with 18 points, going 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Russia's Mikhail Kulagin, meanwhile, had a game-high 21 points.
The Russians shot better from the field than Poland, but the Polish outscored Russia 35-13 from the free throw line, proving to be the game's biggest difference maker.
Russia is now destined for the Classification Round bracket after one more Second Round contest.
.@aaroncel5 goes backdoor on the lob for @KoszKadra 🇵🇱 as things are heating up down the stretch 🔥!- Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 6, 2019
📽 https://t.co/U6RPjx3FuZ#FIBAWC #POLRUS pic.twitter.com/OlAIdhpsVo
Serbia 90, Puerto Rico 47
Serbia's dominance continued in their first Second Round matchup, destroying Puerto Rico to solidify a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Serbia expanded on their World Cup-best point differential, which is now up to plus-163.
This time, it wasn't Bogdan Bogdanovic who did the damage for the Serbs. Forward Nemanja Bjelica (18 points, 6 rebounds) and centre Boban Marjanovic (16 points, 4 rebounds) led the way while star centre Nikola Jokic went for 14 points and 10 boards in 16 minutes of playing time.
Marjanovic even took a page out of Jokic's book with an unlikely no-look pass for an alley-oop on the break!
Starting at Point God: @BobanMarjanovic. 👀 #FIBAWC@KSSrbije 🇷🇸 #SrbijaGotGame pic.twitter.com/VzGYUXBTUC- Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 6, 2019
Puerto Rico will head to the Classification Round after one more Second Round contest.
Argentina 87, Venezuela 67
Argentina handled Venezuela to take care of business and secure a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Argentina's Gabriel Deck was a flamethrower in this one, scoring a game-high 25 points shooting 9-for-12 from the field. Luis Scola continued his elite play with 15 points and six boards and Facundo Campazzo looked like one of the World Cup's best players again with 12 points and nine assists.
Venezuela's Michael Carrera scored 19 points but Argentina was clearly the better team, controlling the game throughout its entirety.
Venezuela - like Russia and Puerto Rico - will head to the Classification Round after one more Second Round contest.
.@facucampazzo with 👀 in the back of his head! Assist of the #FIBAWC so far?!#ARGVEN @cabboficial pic.twitter.com/hZdMs4I0GD- Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 6, 2019
Spain 67, Italy 60
Italy needed a win to keep their medal chances alive but Spain was able to hold off the Italians to guarantee a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
Marc Gasol was quiet in this contest with only two points, four rebounds and one assist, but Juancho Hernangomez picked him up with a team-high 16 points shooting 6-for-10 from the field.
Ricky Rubio continued his pace as one of Spain's top scorers with 15 points, and Spain's defence forced Italy to shoot 35.4% from the field.
Danilo Gallinari did what he could to keep his country going, scoring 15 points shooting 5-for-9 from the field, but he needed help and others failed to step up. Marco Belinelli struggled in this one, going 3-for-16 from the field and 0-for-6 from long range.
Italy will go to the Classification Round after one more Second Round contest.
It came down to the very end. @BaloncestoESP 🇪🇸 defeat @Italbasket 🇮🇹 in another Mediterranean classic! #FIBAWC- Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 6, 2019
🇪🇸 https://t.co/lLj5cbgcbJ#ESPITA #EspañaGotGame pic.twitter.com/33T1K8wwvn