Rio 2016: Australia women stunned by Serbia, Spain and USA advance


Australia's women's basketball team found out the hard way how slim the margin for error can be in Olympic knock-out play.

The bronze medallists from four years ago will not reach the podium in Rio after its surprise 73-71 loss to Serbia in their quarter-final matchup onTuesday.

It is the first time an Australian women's team has failed to secure a medal at the Olympic Games since 1992.

Australia, which had yet to suffer a loss in Rio, came apart at the seams in the face of Serbia's stiff defence and myriad turnovers. Opals star and tournament leading scorer Liz Cambage was averaging a double-double and went for another, with 29 points and 11 rebounds, but the rest of Australia's starters combined for just 24 points.

Marianna Tolo had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but missed a lay-up, sealing Australia's disappointing fate.

The Serbians struggled at the start of the Games, losing three of five and barely making it out of the Group B as a number four seed. But they have now won three in a row heading into the semi-finals and seem to be hitting their stride at the right time - something Australia failed to do.



Spain advanced courtesy of Anna Cruz's one-legged running jumper that beat the clock and stunned Turkey 64-62. The shot closed a 12-2 run by Spain, who will now go on to face Serbia in the semi-finals - their first ever appearance in the last four of an Olympic Games. Cruz shot 7 for 16 from the field with 14 points.


Seven Americans eclipsed double figures as the United States coasted to another victory, 110-64 over Japan and stay unbeaten. Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore led the charge with 19 points apiece, so they get MVP honours for Tuesday. USA will face France in the semi-finals after the latter topped Canada 68-63.


"It's history made for Serbia. It's such an honour. It's just an honour to be part of this team. I feel so lucky that my team-mates and my coach made this possible for me." -- Serbia forward Danielle Page said, sobbing, after the win over Australia.

"It's an amazing win. Not just for the way that we won, but for what this game means for Spain. We never in the history of Spain have been in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games. This team believes. It's amazing for us." -- Spain guard Alba Torrens said following the buzzer-beating win over Turkey.


Men's quarter-finals begin on Wednesday, headlined by gold medal favorite United States against Argentina. Australia starts the day against Lithuania followed by Spain against France and Croatia against Serbia.