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Day 5 in Belgrade - Jul 7, 2009

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Group I
USA - Serbia 68:66
Serbia gave scares to the USA before falling short at the World University Games in Belgrade today. The USA team thus improved at 3-0 record in Group I and would face Bulgaria in the quarterfinal on Thursday. Serbia clinched the second spot in the pool to set up the quarterfinal clash against Turkey. The USA won the fourth game on the trot to enter the playoffs unbeaten. But the hosts made the favorites sweat for the victory tonight. Balanced offense and stifling defense served as the key to Serbian 18:15 lead after ten minutes. The USA found the beat in the second frame as they began clawing their back. Talor Battle (180-G-88) stepped up for the North American team as they toiled for a one-point lead at the interval. The teams went neck and neck in the third quarter. The USA secured a minimal lead into the final frame. The tension grew higher in the dying minutes but the USA proved calm down the line and escaped with a nervous win at the end. Talor Battle knocked down 17 points to lead the charge. Da'Sean Butler produced 12 points for the winners. Milan Macvan and Miroslav Raduljica answered with 13 points apiece for Serbia. Ivan Paunic (194-G-87) topscored with 14 points for the home team.

USA: Talor Battle 17, Da'Sean Butler 12, Corey Fisher 8
Serbia: Ivan Paunic 14, Milan Macvan 13, Miroslav Raduljica 13+10 boards

Finland - Greece 70:66
Finland posted the first win at the World University Games Group I. They held off Greece to clinch the third spot, while Greece remained in the fourth position at 0-3. Finland will now face Ukraine in the classification games of the 9th-12th spots. Greece will take on Portugal for the 13th-16th overall places.
Finland had to overcome a deep 9-point hole at halftime to come out winners at the end. Ville Makalainen (194-F-85, agency: Pro Partner Sports Management) provided 16 points and 13 rebounds to help Finland to the victory. Greece opened the game confidently earning a 4-point lead after ten minutes. They did not loosen the grip and stormed to a 9-point advantage at the main break. But Finland found the way to neutralize their opponents in the second half. They limited the Hellenes to 8 points in the third term to pull as close as 3 points with ten minutes to go. Finland fired on all cylinders in the final stanza to steal a tough at the end. Juho Nenonen delivered 15 points for Finland at the end. Ilkka Vuori had 9 points and 8 assists in the win. Dimitris Verginis (194-G-87, agency: FCM) responded with 14 points for Greece. Sotiris Manolopoulos posted 10 points and 9 boards in the losing effort.

Finland: Ville Makalainen 16, Juho Nenonen 15, Ilkka Vuori 9
Greece: Dimitris Verginis 14, Sotiris Manolopoulos 10

Group J
Lithuania - Latvia 84:64
Lithuania clinched the top spot in Group J at the World University Games. They toppled their archrivals Latvia to improve at 3-0 record. Lithuania will now face either Israel or Russia in the quarterfinal on Thursday. Latvia slipped at 1-2 record in the third place in the pool.
Latvia got to the better in this one. Arturs Strelnieks (196-G/F-85) paced the team as they grabbed a 23:16 lead after ten minutes. But a Robertas Kuncaitis team quickly rebounded and started to dictate their rules in the second stanza. Lithuania trimmed the margin to a single point at halftime. They quickly turned the deficit into a lead in the second half. Deividas Gailius (200-F-88) and Martynas Mazeika helped Lithuania to a 63:53 lead at three-quarter time. Lithuania finished off their opponents in the fourth period limiting those to just 11 points. Deividas Gailius scored 16 points and collected 6 boards to lead the way for Lithuania. Martynas Mazeika added 12 points, while Martynas Pocius produced 11 points and 6 boards for the winners. Arturs Strelnieks notched 18 points and 13 boards for Latvia. Martins Kravcenko and Arturs Berzins had 12 points each for Latvia in defeat.

Lithuania: Deividas Gailius 16, Martynas Mazeika 12, Martynas Pocius 11
Latvia: Arturs Strelnieks 18+13 boards, Martins Kravcenko 12, Arturs Berzins 12

Germany - Romania 81:69
Germany defeat Romania at the World University Games in Serbia tonight. Dominik Bahiense de Mello (190-G-85, agency: Pro One Sports) scored 22 points to lead the German selection. Germany thus claimed the second spot in Group J and advanced into the quarterfinal stage. Romania were sent to the fourth position in the standings. Germany will play against Israel next. Romania will face Italy in the classification games for 13th-16th places.
Germany quickly marked their serious ambitions for the game. They outgunned Romania 23:11 in the starting frame to enjoy a 12-point lead at the first break. The Bundesteam unloaded 29 points in the second stanza to keep Romania at bay. A Tudor Costescu team showed some signs of recovery in the third frame. With their backs against the wall Romania tried to bounce back. They stepped on the gas and trimmed the margin to 13 points before the fourth stanza. Romania won the final quarter by one point but it was not enough for the victory as Germany celebrated a vital success.
Per Gunther had 15 points for the winning side. Johannes Lischka produced 13 points and 15 boards for Germany. Ionut Dragusin replied with 20 points and 16 boards for Romania. Titus Nicoara (200-F-88, agency: Interperformances) had a monster game of 20 points and 19 boards in defeat.

Germany: Dominik Bahiense de Mello 22, Per Gunther 15, Johannes Lischka 13+15 boards
Romania: Titus Nicoara 20+19 boards, Ionut Dragusin 20+16 boards

Group K
Israel - Canada 89:81

Israel completed the fifth straight victory at the World University Games in Belgrade. They knocked down Canada in Group K action today to set up a quarterfinal clash against Germany. Canada will play against Latvia for the 9th-12th spots on Thursday.
Canada gave all Israel could handle before narrowly losing at the end. Elishay Kadir (203-F-87, agency: Avi Zilberman) and Gal Mekel fired up Israel in the starting frame as they rolled to a 7-point lead at the first intermission. But Canada seemed ready for the challenge. They burst out of the blocks in the second term to account for 30 points. Canada arrived at halftime ahead by 3 points giving Israel some food for thought during the major break. Israel got the message and went off the dressing room much more aggressive defensively and restored the lead with one quarter remaining. Israel played it safe in the final period and did not allow the North American team to threaten the margin.
Elishay Kadir delivered 25 points and 9 boards for Israel. Gal Mekel had 20 points, 9 boards and 5 boards, while Yuval Naimi netted 17 points in the loss. Ross Bekkering (203-F-85) drained 15 points and collected 11 boards for Canada. Phillip Nkrumah recorded 10 points and 8 boards in the loss.

Israel: Elishay Kadir 25, Gal Mekel 20, Yuval Naimi 17
Canada: Ross Bekkering 15+11 boards, Phillip Nkrumah 10

Russia - Italy 92:76
Russia secured a 2-1 record in Group K of the World University Games in Serbia. They bruised Italy today to clinch the quarterfinal birth. Italy in the meantime fell at 0-3 record at the bottom of the table. Nikita Shabalkin (204-F-86) was pivotal with 21 points for Russia. Dramir Zibirov provided 19 points, 6 boards and 5 assists for the winning side. Giancarlo Ferrero (194-G/F-88, agency: Players Group) responded with 13 points for Italy.
Russia jumped to an early lead and completed the opening stanza ahead by 11 points. But Italy showed character outscoring their opponents in the second frame. They cut the margin to just 7 points at halftime. Russia however looked animated in the third frame going for 29 points. Italy could not match the tempo and appeared down by 17 points heading into the fourth quarter. Russia wisely kept Italy at safe distance at the dying stages and celebrated a well-deserved win at the end. Valeri Likhodey had 16 points and 7 boards in the victory. Roberto Prandin canned 12 points for the Azzurri. Russia outrebounded their opponents 36:30 and sank solid 58% from the field.

Russia: Nikita Shabalkin 21, Dramir Zibirov 19, Valeri Likhodey 16
Italy: Giancarlo Ferrero 13, Roberto Prandin 12

Group L
Ukraine - Portugal 90:69

Ukraine proved the strength against Portugal at the World University Games in Serbia today. Sergiy Popov (193-G-88) scored 20 points and pulled down 6 boards as Ukraine claimed a comfortable victory at the end. The victory lifted a Valentyn Melnychuk team to 1-2 record in Group L. Portugal remained at 0-3 at the bottom of the ladder.
Ukraine set up the victory in the opening frame. They fired 25 points and accumulate a 12-point lead at the first break. Portugal could not come to terms with aggressive offense and lost the battle under the rims to trail by 27 points at halftime. Portugal however remained in the match as they ignited a comeback rally in the third quarter. Ukraine got sloppy and conceded a 9:27 run from Portugal as an Alexandre Pires team trimmed the deficit to 9 points with one quarter remaining. But Valentyn Melnychyk managed to sober up his team during the final intermission as Ukraine poured in 30 points and escaped with a comfortable victory.
Maxym Korniyenko delivered 19 points and 9 boards for Ukraine. Andrei Kalnichenko and Vyacheslav Kravtsov had 11 points apiece for the winning side. David Tavares (192-F-88) answered with 12 points for Portugal. Tiago Pinheiro delivered 10 points in the loss.

Ukraine: Sergiy Popov 20, Maxym Korniyenko 19, Andrei Kalnichenko 11, Vyacheslav Kravtsov 11+11 boards
Portugal: David Tavares 12, Tiago Pinheiro 10

Group M
Iran - China 91:80 (2OT)

Mohammad Reza Akbari (197-F/G-86) knocked down 30 points, grabbed 11 boards and made 6 steals to inspire a dramatic double-overtime victory for Iran at the World University Games today. Iran had to survive two extra periods before securing an exhausting success against China. Iran improved at 1-0 record in Group M. China fell at 0-2 at the bottom of the standings in the pool. Iran would face Australia for the top position in the group tomorrow.
Iran stunned China in the opening frame outgunning their opponents 22:6. China stopped the bleeding in the second frame as they managed to slow down Iran. A Mehran Hatami team still were able to gain a 17-point lead at halftime. But China were not about to fold that early. They changed the complexion of the encounter drastically in the second half. Zhang ZhaoXu (213-C-87) recharged the team as they began clawing their way back into the game. China trimmed the distance to 9 points at the end of the third frame. There was more to come. China completed the rescue mission late in regulation drawing things level and forcing overtime. The first extra period did not figure out the winners as the teams were knotted at 73. But Iran saved more energy for the final surge. They outscored China 18:7 in the second overtime to eke out a nail-biting win at the end. Mehrad Atashi delivered 21 points, 7 boards and 4 assists for Iran. Aren Davoudichegani had 13 points for the winners. Zhang ZhaoXu produced 25 points and 12 boards for China. Li Xuesong banked 19 points in defeat.

Iran: Mohammad Reza Akbari 30+11 boards, Mehrad Atashi 21, Aren Davoudichegani 13
China: Zhang ZhaoXu 25+12 boards, Li Xuesong 19

Group N
Brazil - Mexico 84:80

Luciano De Souza (201-F-86) scored 18 points to lift Brazil past Mexico at the University Games today. Brazil clinched the top spot in Group N with 2-0 record. Mexico finished in the second position as they slipped at 1-1 record. It was a close affair from start to finish. Mexico enjoyed a narrow 22:21 lead after ten minutes. They did not surrender the advantage in the second quarter and ensured a 43:42 lead at the interval. But Brazil managed to turn the tables in the second half. They fired 26 points in the third stanza and headed into the fourth term ahead by 3 points. Brazil hung on to eke out a difficult victory at the end. Andre Felipe Almeida posted 11 points for Brazil. Roberto Alves and Andre Goes notched 10 points each in the winning effort. Joel Reynoso (190-G-85) responded with 25 points and 9 boards for Mexico. Gabriel Giron registered 20 points in defeat.
Brazil shot 50% from the field, while holding Mexican counterparts to 43% accuracy. They also had a slender advantage on the glass with 38 boards.

Brazil: Luciano De Souza 18, Andre Felipe Almeida 11, Roberto Alves 10, Andre Goes 10
Mexico: Joel Reynoso 25, Gabriel Giron 20

Group O
Japan - South Korea 97:77

Japan prevailed against their archrivals South Korea at the World University Games tonight. Kosuke Kanamaru (192-89) was instrumental with 31 points for the winners. Kenta Hirose added 21 points, 11 boards, 6 assists and 4 steals as Japan claimed the top spot in Group O. South Korea will fight for the second position in the pool against South Africa tomorrow.
Japan however needed to overcome fierce opposition from winless South Korea at the start of the game. The teams traded baskets in the opening frame and Japan were up by just one point at the first break. Japan pushed harder in the second quarter building a 7-point cushion at halftime. Japan polished their dominance in the third frame. They went on a 28:13 rally to put South Korea to the dead end before the final stanza. South Korea finished the game with dignity outscoring Japan in the final frame but it never put any doubts about the final outcome.
Makoto Hiejima dropped 18 points for Japan. Park Sung Jin (182-G-86) responded with 20 points, 6 boards and 5 assists for South Korea. Heo Il-Young posted 16 points and 7 boards in the losing effort. Japan won the battle on the boards 41:31 and sank solid 50% from the field. South Korea committed 20 turnovers in defeat.

Japan: Kosuke Kanamaru 31, Kenta Hirose 21+11 boards, Makoto Hiejima 18
South Korea: Park Sung Jin 20, Heo Il-Young 16

Matt Painter
Purdue to represent Team USA in 2017 World University Games - 11 months ago
Less than a year after Bill Self's Kansas program represented the United States at the World University Games and won the country's first men's basketball gold medal at the event since 2005, another Division I program announced that it will represent the nation at next year's World University games. Tuesday morning it was announced that next summer it will be Purdue that represents the country at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Matt Painter 's program joins Kansas and Northe...   [read more]

Wayne Selden
USA celebrate title in Gwangju - 2 Years ago
FINAL Germany - USA 77-84 2OT The USA celebrated the Gold medals at the World University Games. They defeated Germany in double-overtime thriller. Wayne Selden (196-SF-94) stepped up with 22 points and 9 rebounds for the champions. Team USA claimed a 20:13 lead after ten minutes. Germany narrowed the gap in the second term. They pulled within 5 points at the interval 33:38. Germany triggered a 21:16 run in the third term to even things up at 54. The teams traded baskets throughout t...   [read more]

Perry Ellis
USA and Germany advance into Final in Gwangju - 2 Years ago
SEMIFINALS USA - Russia 78-68 The USA advanced into the World University Games Final. They held off Russian in an exciting semifinal clash. Perry Ellis (203-F-93) scored 23 points to pace the winners. Russia gained an 18:14 lead after the opening quarter. But the USA responded with a 28-point outburst to secure a 42:39 halftime lead. They extended the margin at 5-point mark at the final intermission. The North American team held Russia to just 12 points in the fourth quarter and mar...   [read more]

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World University Games Standings
Group A
 1. Germany 4-0 
 2. Estonia 3-1 
 3. S.Korea 1-2 
 4. China 1-3 
 5. Mozambique. 0-3 
Group B
 1. Russia 5-0 
 2. Canada 4-1 
 3. Sweden 3-2 
 4. Montenegro. 2-3 
 5. Mexico 1-4 
 6. Mongolia 0-5 
Group C
 1. France 5-0 
 2. Lithuania 4-1 
 3. Australia 3-2 
 4. Finland 2-3 
 5. Japan 1-4 
 6. Taiwan 0-5 
Group D
 1. USA 5-0 
 2. Brazil 4-1 
 3. Serbia 3-2 
 4. Turkey 2-3 
 5. Switzerlan. 1-4 
 6. Chile 0-5 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
  Avg: 20
 1. Murphy, FIN20.0 
 2. Selden, USA19.3 
 3. Nordstrom, SWE17.1 
 4. Steinmann, SUI15.5 
 5. Mason, USA14.5 
 6. Giedraitis, LTU13.9 
 7. Spasojevic, MNT13.8 
 8. Lindqvist, SWE13.5 
 9. Mathiang, AUS13.5 
 10. Ellis, USA13.3 
Rebounds Per Game
  Avg: 10.3
 1. Mathiang, AUS10.3 
 2. Sanli, TUR10.0 
 3. Dubas, BEL8.5 
 4. Enkhbat, MGL8.0 
 5. Mula, MOZ7.8 
 6. Caifaz, MOZ7.8 
 7. Pot, SRB7.5 
 8. Brase, GER7.4 
 9. Nordstrom, SWE7.4 
 10. Radosavljevi., SRB7.4 
Assists Per Game
 Frank MASON
  Avg: 4.4
 1. Mason, USA4.4 
 2. Lo, GER4.2 
 3. Torres, BRA4.0 
 4. Pot, SRB3.9 
 5. Vikhrov, RUS3.8 
 6. Heo, KOR3.3 
 7. Vrbica, MNT3.3 
 8. Julien, FRA3.0 
 9. Strebkov, RUS2.8 
 10. Shtarkman, ISR2.8 
Steals Per Game
 Yudai BABA
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Baba, JPN2.8 
 2. Dorbek, EST2.7 
 3. Leo, JPN2.5 
 4. Lee, KOR2.5 
 5. Mason, USA2.5 
 6. Torres, BRA2.3 
 7. Machava, MOZ2.2 
 8. Lee, KOR2.2 
 9. Laane, EST2.1 
 10. Djurisic, MNT2.0 
Blocks Per Game
 Maik-Kalev KOTSAR
  Avg: 1.9
 1. Kotsar, EST1.9 
 2. Choi, KOR1.8 
 3. Desyatnikov, RUS1.8 
 4. Sanli, TUR1.8 
 5. Fall, FRA1.7 
 6. Mockevicius, LTU1.5 
 7. Caven, FIN1.4 
 8. Senli, TUR1.3 
 9. Guo, CHN1.3 
 10. Morin, FRA1.3 
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