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ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship) – With the FIBA World Championship now having come to an end, we thought we would bring you back to some of the encounters of the 2010 edition that will go down as classics and the game-changing moments that made them great.
The preliminary round, held in Ankara, Izmir, Kayseri and Istanbul, provided plenty of thrills and spills.
Serbia v Germany
group A - Kayseri, 29th August
Early on, the young German team surprised everyone when they took EuroBasket finalists Serbia down to the wire. Six behind with 1:40 to go, Aleksander Rasic came up with two big consecutive three-pointers to bring the game into overtime.
A first period of overtime would not be enough to separate the two teams. In the second period however, Germany edged their way ahead to lead by two with a minute to go. Then, with Germany under immense pressure and the shot clock ticking down, the ball is fed out to Jan Jagla who nails an amazing fade away three-pointer, which ultimately wins Germany the game.
USA v Brazil
group B - Istanbul, 30th August
One of the things that makes basketball so unique is how much can happen in the dying seconds of a game. Brazil and the USA provided a perfect illustration of this.
Sporting a two-point lead, the USA left the Brazilians with a chance of victory when Chaucey Billups missed a three-pointer with 10 seconds to go. Alex Garcia snatched the rebound and Brazil brought the ball up the floor setting up Marcelo Huertas, who drove into the lane and drew a foul from Kevin Durant.
Huertas’ first free-throw hit the front of the rim and stayed out. Magnano instructs him to intentionally miss the second. His flat shot hits the rim and bounces to the left corner where Huertas chases it down.
Durant hustles over to attempt a block of his three-pointer. Instead, Huertas passes to Barbosa under the basket, who leaps high and shoots the ball off the backboard but it dropped, hits the rim and stays out.
Brazil v Slovenia
group B - Istanbul, 1st September
Brazil received a second sucker-punch as they fell to Slovenia. Behind for much of the game, Brazil began to mount something of a comeback. But with 21 seconds to go, the scores at 76-71 and with the South Americans threatening to go one better than they had against the USA, Nachbar hits a three-pointer to open up enough breathing space to go on and secure the win.
Germany v Angola
group A - Kayseri, 1st September
The crowd in the Kayseri Kadir Has arena had been on its feet for a while by the time the final couple of minutes of the Angola-Germany game were being played. Angola had built up, and surrendered and eight point lead, while Germany were seeing a ten point lead evaporate.
A Joaquim Gomes three-pointer launched an amazing eight-point run, that also included an Felizardo Ambrosio steal and dunk before the very same Ambrosio sinks an outrageous fade away three off the glass to bring Angola to within one.
They would manage to force overtime and go on to win the game, thereby eliminating the Germans and securing qualification for the Eight-Final round for the first time in the country’s history.
Puerto Rico v Ivory Coast
group C - Ankara, 2nd September
Ivory Coast came oh so close to qualifying for the Eight-Finals. In fact they came to within one last gasp three pointer. They needed to beat Puerto Rico by 12 points, and that was the very margin of their lead with only fractions of a second remaining.
Then, David Huertas takes aim from way out wide to sink a three-pointer that books China a ticket in the knock-out round. Ivroy Coast would nevertheless win the game and register their first ever World Championship victory.
As the teams made their way to Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Olympic dome, it was immediately clear that adrenaline levels were set to rise further still.
Argentina v Brazil
Eight-Final - Istanbul, 7th September
Brazil were involved in some of the greatest games and closest finishes of the 2010 FIBA World Championship. After nail-biters against USA and Slovenia, things would yet again go down to the wire in their Eight-Final game with neighbours Argentina.
Averaging 27.5 points per game, breaking thirty on no less than five occasions and pouring in 37 on the night, Luis Scola would be responsible for Brazil’s third narrow defeat.
Just three points ahead, an under pressure Pablo Prigioni plays a millimetred behind the back pass into Scola, who sinks a jump shot from just inside the paint increasing the gap to five, effectively ending Brazil’s chances of progressing.
Serbia v Spain
Quarter-Final - Istanbul, 8th September
Some weeks ago in Athens we saw the worst of Serbia’s young prodigy Milos Teodosic. In their quarter-final against Spain, we got to see the best.
With Serbia having led for most of the game, Spain clawed it back with an 11-2 run to bring the scores even at 89-89 with 25 seconds to play. Following a time out called by Serbia, the ball is handed to Teodosic, who calmly lets the clock countdown as he looks for options.
With the clock at five seconds and Marc Gasol towering over him, Teodosic – meters outside the three-point line – lines up and lets loose to sink three from way downtown, putting Serbia three points ahead, with as many seconds remaining on the clock. Unable to make a shot in the three remaining seconds, Spain bow out to the side they beat one year ago in the EuroBasket final.
Serbia v Turkey
Semi-Final - Istanbul, 11th September
Imagine a packed 15,000 seater Sinan Erdem Dome celebrating a last second victory to set up a World Championship Final meeting between hosts Turkey and pre-tournament favourites the USA. That is what took place during Saturday’s Semi-Final between Turkey and Serbia.
During the last minute of play, whichever team had possession of the ball looked like they would win the game.
An exchange of free-throws left Serbia one point ahead with 28 seconds to go. Semih Erden then put Turkey one point ahead from inside the paint with 16 on the clock. Then the real madness begins. Milos Teodosic gets a defensive rebound off an Erden free-throw, before Serbia edge ahead through Velickovic on the ensuing attack. Four seconds on the shot clock. Bogdan Tanjevic calls a time-out.
Turkey inbound the ball to Hedo Turkoglu, who loses control on the left wing, but Kerem Tunceri got to the ball first and was a step ahead of the defenders as he drove hard to the hole to put Turkey back ahead within the final second. The Sinan Erdem erupts.
This time Serbia head coach Dusan Ivkovic calls the time-out. In what must have been an intricately rehearsed play, the remaining half-second would somehow be enough for the ball to reach Novica Velickovic, who shoots only for Erden to come up with a game saving fingertip block, propelling Turkey into the final.
So as the long hard four-year wait for the next edition begins, enjoy the above action that we think you will probably never get tired of watching...