Croatia entered the third day of group play fresh off a victory over Argentina behind 16 points from Bojan Bogdanoivc, but the leaders of Group B dropped one to Senegal Monday morning, an upset by all accounts.
Senegal has now beaten both Puerto Rico and Croatia to move into a tie for first place in Group B with Bogdanovic and Croatia. Led by Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Gorgui Dieng, the No. 41 ranked team, by the FIBA world ranking, shocked the Croatians, 77-75. Dieng scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds after scoring 18 and grabbing 13 boards Sunday in their victory over the Puerto Ricans. It was the third straight game where an NBA center dominated the Croatian frontline. Andray Blatche scored 28 and Luis Scola scored 30 in the two previous games. (Dieng had been a Nets favorite on Draft Night 2013, but he was taken at No. 21. Mason Plumlee was there at No. 22.
Bogdanovic didn't start for Croatia, but still played a team-high 31 minutes in the loss, scoring 15 points on 14 shots. Over three games in three days, Bogdanovic has played 105 minutes. He did lead the team in scoring but wasn't as efficient in prior games. He shot 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. Dario Saric kept up his fine play for the national team, also scoring 15 points while grabbing six boards on six of nine shooting from the field.
Croatia is still likely to advance to the single elimination stage of the FIBA World Cup, as the Philippines and Puerto Rico are both winless with three games remaining for each team. Barring a complete collapse, we will be seeing Bogdanoivc and the Croatians past the group stage.
Croatia is back in action Wednesday against Greece, at 2 PM EST. Both the USA with Mason Plumlee and Mexico with Jorge Gutierrez did not play Monday. They resume action on Tuesday.