The eight men’s team for the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Championships have been set following the eight crossover games, which took place today (Monday 21st August).
The first game of the day threw up the biggest surprise of the day as Spain, who had yet to a win a game so far at the tournament, beat Japan, who finished top of pool C. In the first half nothing would drop for the Japanese, which allowed Spain to capitalise and they held a 15-point lead going into the final quarter. A huge fightback by Japan in the fourth say them take the lead but then an exchange of baskets, ended in Japan missing the final attempt to give Spain, the win 52-50.
Spain’s Head Coach, Oscar Trigo Diez, said “That win was very important to us to get back into the tournament. Few thought we could win against Japan. We have regained our team spirit and have confidence in our game again, we will not stop fighting, until the end we will do that We look forward to our next opponent Germany would be better for me, because the atmosphere is always excellent they play.”
In the second crossover of the game, Poland caused the second upset of the day with a surprise win over Canada. Poland’s one pointer, Marcin Balcerowski, led his side, with 21 points, to a 79-68 victory over Canada and moved to the final 8.
The third crossover game was more straightforward as USA cruised past Morocco, with a comfortable, 82-31, to make the final eight of the championships.
USA’s player, Mike Paye, said “It’s always great to be on the pitch and I think we played well in our attacking game. We’re pretty excited as the tournament may be over every day should you lose a game so we have to find a way to win the next games.”
Great Britain knocked out hosts Germany much to the large crowd’s despair, with a 62-54, win. Germany rallied towards the end bringing it back to a 6 points game, but it was in vain as they could not overthrow GB’s lead, and Great Britain marched through to the next phase.
GB’s Head Coach, Haj Bhania, said, “We made few changes and lost our focus and a bit of intensity, so we decided to go back to basics. I’m really proud of the team, and the atmosphere was fantastic.”
Argentina shocked Italy as they stormed to an early lead, which they maintained throughout the game, to defeat the Italians, 59-46. Argentina’s Cristian Gomez’s led all scorers making a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds.
Argentina’s Head Coach, Mauro Varela, said,”We’ve prepared a lot for this crossover game because it means whoever loses is out. Ahead of the tournament we prepared in Italy and had the last games against them so we were able to watch them. We knew the two teams know each other well and we know the players also know each other very well, so it was a very mental game an strategic game, Luckily we (Argentina) got off to a very intense start, and were very aggressive, which was effective and with a good defence we were able to gain a lead but we were able to control the game. “
South Korea give Iran an early scare, but it was Iran who regained their composure secured their spot in the men’s quarterfinals, 64-48.
Iran’s Head Coach, Mohammadreza Dastyar, said “There was a lot of stress before the match, as we finished first in Group A and had to play with the fourth team in Group B, South Krorea Korea is our long-time rival in the Asian area and if we did not win this match we would not have chance to reach the last four in the tournament. Korea are a great team, we’ve played them in many friendlies before but with our solidarity in the team, the unity among the players, we were able to win despite all the problems and we had left a bad image of ourselves in the previous games and wanted to dissolve this.”
In a re-run of the 5th-6th placing game at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Australia (M) 🇦🇺 took on Brazil (M) 🇧🇷 in the crossovers. It was the turn of the Australia got their revenge defeating Brazil, 74-55, to go through to the quarterfinals.
Australia’s top scorer, Bill Latham, said, “It feels very good to have won today, we worked very well as a team, we definitely want to play for a medal, but now we focus on the next game and do it the way it should.”
The day finished as it had started with another intense, dramatic game, in which Turkey narrowly beat the Netherlands, 60-52. Turkey are the last team to make the last eight.
Turkey’s Özgür Gürbulak, said “It was a very difficult game for us, we have fought some great fights with the Netherlands in the past and today we had a very good day and tomorrow we want to win against Iran.”
11:45 – QF – GBR (M) v ESP (M)
14:00 – QF – USA (M) v ARG (M)
18:00 – QF – IRI (M) v TUR (M)
20:15 – QF – AUS (M) v POL (M)
For all results and more information click here.
Photos and quotes courtesy of Rollstuhlbasketball WM 2018 Hamburg – MSSP Michael Schwartz / Uli Gasper