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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK
Title holders claim first victory
Serbia and Montenegro's Darko Milcic (l) is hugged by Mile Ilic
Serbia and Montenegro duo Darko Milcic and Mile Ilic show their relief
Serbia and Montenegro crushed Lebanon 104-57 on Monday to keep alive their hopes of making a successful defence of their World Championship title.

After Group A losses to Nigeria and France, the reigning champions got their first points with a 104-57 win.

Meanwhile, Angola, Argentina and Spain all secured their places in the knockout stages in Japan.

Angola defeated New Zealand 95-73, Argentina beat Venezuela 96-54 and Spain overcame Germany 92-71.

Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon scored a game-high 20 points for Spain, with Juan Navarro (19 points) and Memphis centre Pau Gasol (16) also playing key roles.

Germany were led by Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki's 14 points.

Serbia and Montenegro head coach Dragan Sakota was relieved to see his side record their first win, with Orlando Magic centre Darko Milicic scoring 20 first-half points.

"For us it was very important to win the game," said Sakota. "We knew we were a better team and had a better level, but especially after the two defeats, we needed to prove this."

The defending champions must now win one of their final two matches, against Venezuela and Argentina, to advance.

Teams in Group C and Group D had a rest day, including the United States, China, Australia and European champions Greece.


Group A: Argentina 96-54 Venezuela
Serbia and Montenegro 104-57 Lebanon
France 64-53 Nigeria

Group B: Angola 95-73 New Zealand
Spain 92-71 Germany
Japan 78-61 Panama


SEE ALSO
Wade guides USA to easy success
20 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Nigeria shock Serbia & Montenegro
19 Aug 06 |  Basketball
US depleted by Arenas injury blow
14 Aug 06 |  Basketball


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