Marquinhos gives Brazil hope
GRANADA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - In a matter of just 48 hours, Brazil learned how good their three-point shooting has to be in order to keep their hopes of winning the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup alive.
On Monday, in Day 3 Group A action, the South Americans allowed Spain to convert 11 of their 24 three-point attempts, resulting in an 82-63 defeat.
Nevertheless, Day 5 belonged to Marquinhos Vieira, who made 6 of his 9 attempts from beyond the arc to lead all scorers with 21 points as Brazil overcame Serbia 81-73.
Marquinhos took to the court on Wednesday with a sense of urgency to make the most of the opportunity as he replaced Alex Garcia in the starting line-up.
Even though the 30-year-old played the best game of his Spain 2014 campaign so far, he would not take the credit for the victory that boosted his team's confidence for the next round.
"We don't have a leading player in this group. We are stronger as a team," he said minutes after the triumph over Serbia.
I had a good game because Marcelinho Huertas and the rest of the guys put me in a strong position to be ready to shoot. - Marquinhos
When asked to explain how the team was able to keep focused when, for a moment Serbia bounced back and took the lead, the Flamengo forward said that throughout the the team's 40 days of preparation in Sao Paulo they practiced how to react in trailing situations.
"Thank God we were fortunate to make shots when we needed them most," he said.
Brazil are guaranteed of finishing second in Group A and will take on the team that finishes third in Group B in the Round of 16.
But if one asks Brazil's point guard Larry Taylor how far his adoptive country can go, the US-born provides a straightforward answer.
"I don't think we have a limit. We have the capacity to beat any team here in the tournament," he said.
"It just depends on how hard we play, how focused we are. We don't see any limits.
"We are dreaming to be champions, that’s what we are aiming for."
But how did Brazil come back from a poor performance against Spain to beat a good and competitive Serbian team?
"If we want to win we have to be a good defensive team and we have to be able to get out and run," said the 1.84m guard.
Importante vitoria sobre a Servia hj, time c tradiçao e muita qualidade.Amanha vs Egito.Important W vs Serbia 2day. pic.twitter.com/wQM0kO1gdt— Tiago Splitter (@tiagosplitter) September 3, 2014