PRAGUE (FIBA U19 World Championship) - Tournament hosts Czech Republic beat Iran but were eventually eliminated from the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship while Spain knocked off Croatia in a battle of possible title contenders and the United States got another blowout victory.
The Czechs needed a 17-point win to secure a spot in the Eight-Final Round but only won 60-50, leaving the local faithful hoping that Argentina would beat Lithuania in Group B's final game - which the Europeans ended up winning 76-66.
That bounced the hosts of a FIBA U19 World Championship from the tournament for just the third time following New Zealand in 2009 and Portugal in 1999, despite Martin Peterka's 19 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Czechs.
Sajjad Mashayekhi collected 12 points, 13 rebounds, four steals and two assists to lead Iran, who advanced with a 1-2 record in third place.
Top honors in Group B went to 3-0 Lithuania, who beat Argentina thanks to Tomas Dimsa and Donatas Tarolis both scoring 12 points. Argentina finished second at 1-2 despite 15 points from Matias Bernandini.
The most anticipated showdown of the day was atop Group A where Dario Brizuela's 14 points paced five players in double figures in Spain's 86-76 win over Croatia in a battle of undefeated teams.
Croatian star Dario Saric collected 23 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and two assists but also committed 10 turnovers.
The other Group A match-up had major consequences as well with Tyler Ennis scoring 26 points and Trey Lyles adding 21 points and 11 rebounds in Canada's 93-75 win over Korea to take third place in the group.
Korea finished the Preliminary Round winless despite Jun Yong Choi scoring 14 points for the Asians.
In Group D, the United States once again dominated in cruising past Russia
115-47 with seven players scoring in double figures - led by Jahlil Okafor's 15 points. All 12 Americans scored at least four points and grabbed at least one assist while nine USA members dished at least one assist.
The Americans collected their third straight win - by an average margin of 61 points while allowing only 44 points per game.
Joining Team USA into the next round from Group D are Russia, who had Mikhail Kulagin score 19 points in dropping to 1-2 for third place, and China.
The Chinese improved to 2-1 with an 81-48 blowout of Cote d'Ivoire with Shang Gao collecting 23 points, five assists and four rebounds while Ji Wei Zhao added 12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Alpha Toure scored 13 points and Dalen Traore had seven points and 17 rebounds in the loss for the Ivorians, who dropped to 0-3.
In Group C, Serbia remained perfect with an 80-49 win over Senegal with
leading the way with 13 points and three other Serbians scoring in double digits.
Senegal, who had already been eliminated before the game, were paced by Abdoulaye Ndoye's 11 points and 10 rebounds while Pape Diatta had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Australia claimed second place in Group C with a 2-1 record after beating Brazil
73-45 with Nic Duncan scoring 18 points and Dante Exum collecting 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Brazil took third place with Arthur 'Pecos' Fernandes da Silva having six points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
After a rest day on Sunday, the tournament resumes on Monday with the Eighth-Final Round.
The 12 teams qualified from the Preliminary Round are divided into two groups of six teams each.
Group E will consist of Lithuania, Spain, Croatia, Argentina, Canada and Iran, while USA, Serbia, Australia, China, Brazil and Russia will make up Group F.
Each team will play the three new teams in its own group and the final scores of all games played in the Preliminary Round are valid for this round.