Accessibility links

Yugoslavia, Argentina Play for World Basketball Title - 2002-09-08

Yugoslavia and Argentina will battle later Sunday for the World Basketball title in the U.S. state of Indiana at 2:00 p.m. EST (1800 UTC). Germany and New Zealand will also play in the consolation third place game at 11:30 a.m. EST (1530 UTC).

Yugoslavia is the defending champion. Argentina is undefeated with perhaps its biggest victory so far coming against the host United States, which lost an unprecedented three games in the tournament.

Yugoslavia defeated New Zealand in the semifinals 89-78, while Argentina beat Germany 86-80. Argentine coach Ruben Magnano says playing nearly every day has been difficult and his team will have to overcome another short turnaround before the next game.

"I think the match is very hard when you have to play in less than 24 hours," he said. "You have to surrender to a test every day."

Yugoslav coach Svetislav Pesic says his team is physically conditioned and ready to go for a second straight title.

"We get a chance to show whether we are the best team in the world," he said. "I do not think there could have been a better final game. We do not have a ton of time to prepare, but we have been practicing for over a month and a half. So we are ready."

Yugoslavia is aiming for an unprecedented fifth World Basketball title. Argentina is hoping to win its second, but has not been champion since it hosted the first World Basketball tournament in 1950.