Day four of the 2014 FIBA World Cup saw the teams from Group A and Group B take a day to themselves, which meant that the spotlight fell on Groups C and D. This meant that there was no host nation to look out for but with tournament favourites USA featuring in the bottom half of the tables, they were the big name that caught the eye. Of course, the real competition was going on in other games as teams battled to force their way into the knockout round qualification stages, and this meant that there was a great deal of excitement on offer in the two groups.

Group A – Granada

FIBA World Cup Group A - GranadaWith no change since the last preview, Spain still top the group with a 3-0 record and 6 points. There are three teams all sitting on 5 points, France, Brazil and Serbia while Iran and Egypt sit on 3 points. Day 5 is serving up some games that will have an impact but the final group games will be the deciding factor in who goes through.

On Thursday the 4th of September, the games are:

  • Brazil v Egypt
  • Iran v France
  • Serbia v Spain

On paper, Brazil and France have the two easy games to wrap up their group stage while Serbia could be looking around them to see if they need to pull off a gargantuan effort against the host nation.

Group B – Seville

FIBA World Cup Group B - SevillaThe teams of Group B also sat out day four, which means that Greece are still top of the group with 6 points and a 3-0 position. The teams on five points are Croatia, Senegal and Argentina while Philippines and Puerto Rico are at the bottom with 3 points each. Going into the final game that will have changed as Philippines and Puerto Rico faced each other, while Senegal and Argentina also have to face each other. Qualification from this group will be going down to the wire.

On Thursday the 4th of September, the games are:

  • Senegal v Philippines
  • Croatia v Puerto Rico
  • Argentina v Greece

With Senegal fancying their chances against the Philippines and Croatia looking to have enough to defeat Puerto Rico, Argentina’s hopes of a favourable draw in the knock-out round may rely on defeating Greece.

Group C – Barakaldo

FIBA World Cup Group C - BilbaoThe Ukraine managed to edge out Turkey in a tight match, winning by a score of 64 to 58. The main man for the Ukrainian team was Olexandr Mishula, who delivered 19 points in a game that was noted for some misfiring offensive play. Going into the final quarter, a scoreline of 41-39 indicated the tightness but this was when two three point shots from Mishula helped his country to push on. Turkey almost made it with the help of Omer Asik, who served up 16 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t to be for the Turkish side.

There was another straightforward win for Team USA who defeated New Zealand, by a score of 98 to 71. Anthony Davis was the main man for the American side with 21 points and 9 rebounds although the role of Kenneth Faried was of note too, with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the team.

If the Finnish side were hoping to continue in a winning vein, they found that the Dominican Republic were just as keen to stop them. The final score of 64 to 58 in favour of the Dominican Republic gives them hope of progressing although an injury sustained by Eloy Vargas dampened the joy of the win.

Unsurprisingly, Team USA top the group with a 3-0 record and 6 points. Ukraine and Dominican Republic sit behind them on 5 points, while Turkey and Finland both sit on 4 points. New Zealand bring up the rear on 3 points but this group could see some action that means a big name or expected qualifier could miss out, so there is sure to be a great finish to Group C.

On Thursday the 4th of September, the games are:

  • Finland v New Zealand
  • Ukraine v United States
  • Turkey v Dominican Republic

Group D – Las Palmas

FIBA World Cup Group D - Gran CanariaMexico picked up their first win at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, brushing aside Angola by a score of 79 to 55. Hector Hernandez had 24 points in the game while Gustavo Ayon notched a double double, with 12 rebounds and 17 points. Angola had two players who both scored 13 points, Valdélicio Joaquim and Yanick Moreira.

There was a shock in the next game as Australia defeated Lithuania by a score of 82-75. Australia blasted Lithuania in the first half and then held off the second half fightback. Joe Ingles managed to grab 18 points, Aron Baynes delivered 14 points and Matthew Dellavedova picked up 13 points in a great team performance for the Boomers. Renaldas Seibutis managed to grab 21 points for Lithuania, who now sit behind Australia in the table.

In the other game, a casual Slovenia performance meant that the scoreline was closer than it should have been. However, the 89-72 win, helped by Goran Dragic grabbing 22 points helped to put Slovenia on top of the group.

After 3 games, Slovenia top Group D with 6 points and a 3-0 record. Australia and Lithuania both sit on 5 points, while Mexico and Angola are both of 4 points. South Korea trail with 3 points.

On Thursday the 4th of September, the games are:

  • Australia v Angola
  • South Korea v Mexico
  • Lithuania v Slovenia

The Lithuania versus Slovenia match may be a group decider, which is exactly the sort of thing that basketball fans are looking for when it comes to the final group games.