Tuesday , Jan , 08 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Spain and Argentina Advance for Worlds

Another impressive performance for Spain who beat Lithuania 89-67 Tuesday and advances to the FIBA world basketball tournament’s semifinals for the second time. Pau Gasol had 25 points and nine rebounds.

Spain came into the game with an average margin of victory of 25 points, and it led this game 76-49 with five minutes to play when the reserves took over.

Gasol, the 7-foot center who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, came into the game averaging 21 points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting 65 percent from the field. He was 8-for-14 from the field Tuesday and 9-for-12 from the free throw line.

Darius Lavrinovic had 17 points to lead Lithuania (4-3), which never recovered from another one of Spain’s bursts, this one a 15-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters.

Lavrinovic scored down low with 3:53 left in the first quarter to bring Lithuania within 17-11. Lithuania wouldn’t score again for 5:33, missing eight shots and committing six turnovers as Spain turned up the defensive pressure and scored again and again on breakaway layups and dunks.

Spain will play Argentina on Friday.

Argentina beat Turkey 83-58 in the quarterfinals. Andres Nocioni scored 21 points and Argentina dominated Turkey on Tuesday night for its second straight appearance in the semifinals of the FIBA world championships.

The U.S. team resumes play tomorrow against Germany, while Greece takes on France.