Spain's Marc Gasol is one victory away from a rare feat -- winning the NBA crown and a Basketball World Cup in the same year.
NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to save Greece as holders the United States reached the Basketball World Cup quarter-finals with a 69-53 win on Saturday.
It is the largest basketball World Cup ever but there will be no teams from Asia or Africa in the second round of the sport's global showpiece.
It is one of Europe's poorest countries and has a population of just seven million, but Serbia's towering basketball team are on course to be world champions.
Red-hot Serbia showed they -- not reigning two-time champions the United States -- are the team to beat at the Basketball World Cup with a 92-77 victory over Italy on Wednesday to top their group.
Reigning champions the United States were given a huge scare in a nail-biting 93-92 overtime victory over Turkey at the Basketball World Cup on Tuesday to labour into the second round.
The United States failed to sparkle as they launched their bid for a third World Cup title in a row with an 88-67 victory over the Czech Republic on Sunday in Shanghai.
So many NBA headliners from the United States are skipping the Basketball World Cup in China that they would assemble a formidable all-star squad of their own.