Canada, Serbia, Greece into semis in Olympic hoop qualifiers
Canada, Serbia and Greece all clinched semifinal berths Wednesday in the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to determine the final spots in the men’s basketball field.
Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors scored 13 points as the Canadians beat Senegal 58-55 to improve to 2-0 in Group A of the Manila, Philippines, tournament. Canada will face the loser of Thursday’s France-New Zealand game in the semifinals.
Serbia also improved to 2-0 in the tournament it is hosting in Belgrade by beating Angola 83-60. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets finished with 17 points and six rebounds for the 2014 Basketball World Cup silver medalists.
Greece beat Mexico 86-70 in a game that determined first place in Group A in Turin, Italy. Mexico will play host Italy in one semifinal, while the Greeks were awaiting their next opponent.
The winners of the three tournaments get the final berths in Rio.
A look at Wednesday’s results:
AT MANILA, PHILIPPINES
CANADA 58, SENEGAL 55
The Canadians held on despite scoring just 11 points in the fourth quarter. Maurice Ndour had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Senegal, which shot just 27.5 percent from the field - just 25 percent on 2-point attempts.
Senegal faces Turkey on Thursday, with the winner getting the No. 2 spot from Group A and the loser eliminated.
NEW ZEALAND 89, PHILIPPINES 80
Tai Webster had 25 points and 11 rebounds for New Zealand in its opener. Corey Webster, his brother, added 23 points.
Former NBA center Andray Blatche finished with 30 points and seven rebounds, but the Philippines fell to 0-2 and was eliminated.
AT BELGRADE, SERBIA
SERBIA 83, ANGOLA 60
The hosts shot 54.5 percent from the field and put four players in double figures.
Reggie Moore was the only Angolan in double figures with 10 points. Angola fell to 0-2 and was eliminated, giving Puerto Rico the No. 2 spot from Group A.
AT TURIN, ITALY
GREECE 86, MEXICO 70
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks scored 21 points for the Greeks, who trailed 35-33 at halftime before seizing control by outscoring Mexico by 14 points in the third. Ioannis Bourousis added 16 points and nine rebounds.
Francisco Cruz led the Mexicans with 19 points.