The 2014 FIBA World Cup is one of the biggest international competitions in the sport of basketball. Taking place once every four years, the top basketball nations in the world have come together for the chance at winning the gold medal.
The victorious nation is also automatically qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Spain is the host nation for the event that began on Aug. 30, and the games will continue until a champion is crowned on Sept. 14. While all eyes will be on the vaunted Team USA, legitimate contenders like Spain, France and Brazil will not go down without a fight.
Here are the results, scores and updated group standings from Day 1 of the FIBA World Cup.
|2014 FIBA World Cup Group Standings|
*Standings via FIBA.com.
Day 1 Scores
Croatia 81, Philippines 78
Ukraine 72, Dominican Republic 62
Angola 80, Korea 69
Serbia 85, Egypt 64
Turkey 76, New Zealand 73
Slovenia 90, Australia 80
Argentina 98, Puerto Rico 75
Brazil 65, France 63
Lithuania 87, Mexico 74
Greece 87, Senegal 64
USA 114, Finland 55
Spain 90, Iran 60
Day 1 Recap and Highlights
The first day of the 2014 FIBA World Cup began on Saturday with a 12-game schedule filled with intriguing matchups. With four groups packed with elite talent, the on-court action has not disappointed basketball fans thus far.
The best game of the day was the battle between Croatia and the Philippines. Led by the eight points and 11 rebounds from Ante Tomic and the 26 points from Bojan Bogdanovic, the Croatians were able to hold on to a hard-fought 81-78 victory.
Despite coming out on the losing end with the Philippines, NBA veteran Andray Blatche dominated his competition by racking up 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Another exciting matchup on the docket Saturday was the battle between the Ukraine and the Dominican Republic. Francisco Garcia put in a great effort for the Dominican team (18 points, four assists and three rebounds), but it wasn’t enough to hold off Ukraine, who won, 72-62.
Slava Kravtsov stole the show for the Ukrainians, scoring 13 points and adding seven rebounds as well.
One game that stunned many fans was Turkey vs. New Zealand. Turkey took the 76-73 win in a defensive struggle that featured just one player from each team scoring in double digits. Turkey’s Oguz Savas scored 16 points and Corey Webster scored 22 points in the loss for New Zealand.
The Chicago Bulls are hoping Pau Gasol brings the same level of play to the 2014-15 season that he displayed in Spain's win over Iran on Saturday. Gasol went for 33 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
The game itself wasn't even close. Spain harassed Iranian center Hamed Haddadi into seven turnovers and frustrated their opponents on a whole.
Spain's main opposition in the World Cup figures to come from Team USA. In the game almost everyone came to see, the Americans made easy work of Finland winning 114-55. Anthony Davis and Klay Thompson led a balanced attack for Team USA.
Davis finished with 17 points and four rebounds while Thompson poured in 18 on the strength of 4-for-4 shooting from three-point range.
Defense and rebounding were the keys to success for Team USA. It held Finland to 27.7 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounded the Finnish 46-31. We'll see if both Spain and Team USA can continue to look like the teams to beat.
With two weeks of action in store for basketball fans, the on-court competition thus far at the 2014 FIBA World Cups has lived up to the expectations.
*Stats via FIBA.com.