The stage is set for the FIBA Basketball World Cup as eight teams are locked in for the Quarter-Finals in pursuit of the gold medal.
Argentina will take on Serbia, the United States will face off against France, Spain and Poland go head-to-head and Australia clashes with the Czech Republic.
In a single-elimination bracket - with losing teams dropping to the Classification Round - each team is three wins away from taking home the gold.
Before the single-elimination tournament gets underway, our NBA.com staff has rewarded some of the World Cup's top performers with yearbook-style superlatives!
Most likely to become their country's leader
After leading the take down of the United States in an exhibition friendly, Patty Mills has carried that level of play into the World Cup.
Now that Mills has led Australia to a perfect 5-0 record through the two group stages, it won't be long before the country demands his leadership off the court, too.
Mills has been incredible for the Boomers averaging 21.8 points, 4.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game. He scored a clutch 23 points to edge Lithuania, helping Australia win their First Round group and then stepped up again when his country needed him most, dropping 30 points in a close two-point win over France to keep an unblemished record going into the Quarter-Finals.
Australia has never medaled at a World Cup or at the Olympics and as of now, Mills has the Boomers in great shape to take home some hardware in China. If he could lead Australia to the gold, expect him to be honoured as a co-Prime Minister some time next week.
- Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)
Most prolific scorer
Let's be clear, this is a distinction that would have gone to Mills had he not received a more all-encompassing honour but that doesn't mean Evan Fournier is too far behind.
Through five games, the Magic's swingman has scored just five fewer points than Mills for a scoring average of 20.8 points per game - good for second among all players whose teams advanced to the Quarter-Final round.
Fournier is getting hot at the right time, too. In his last two games, he's averaging 27.5 points while shooting 46.7% from the field and 38.4% from beyond the arc.
He's trending in the right direction ahead of France's Quarter-Final meeting with the United States National Team.
Fournier is one of five current NBA players on the French roster and will be looked upon to shoulder the offensive load as the team looks to advance past the undefeated Americans. As he's shown time and time again with Orlando, Fournier isn't afraid of the moment and is the guy that France should want with the ball when the game comes down to the wire.
He checks all the boxes of what you want in a prolific scorer.
- Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21)
Tomas Satoransky takes this superlative home because he's flirted with a triple-double in four out of the five contests the Czech Republic have played in thus far.
The Czech Republic has been one of the biggest surprises at this World Cup and Satoransky's performance has them in the Quarter-Finals - a place they were never projected to be at the start of the tournament.
Satoransky is averaging 15.2 points, 7.4 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game. Aside from Czech's first game against the United States, Satoransky has teased a triple-double in each contest.
• vs. Japan: 15 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds
• vs. Turkey: 11 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds
• vs. Brazil: 20 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds
• vs. Greece: 13 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds
He's due to finally reach that triple-double mark, and that's exactly what the Czechs will need to take down a red hot Australia team in the Quarter-Finals.
Leading up to this year's World Cup, much was made of who would (and wouldn't) be wearing the Red, White, and Blue to represent the United States this summer.
While a number of big names withdrew, Kemba Walker remained fully committed, taking immeasurable pride in the opportunity to lead the nation to gold. Coming off of a career season with the Hornets, the newest Boston Celtic was the perfect candidate to lead this team in the most crucial moments where he was needed most.
Through five games, he's done just that.
Walker has helped lead the Americans to a perfect 5-0 record with team-high averages of 14.6 points and 6.0 assists per game, showcasing his ability to create for himself and others. It's come efficiently, too, as he's shooting at a 50.0% clip from the field and a 41.4% clip from beyond the arc.
The United States' aspirations for a third-straight World Cup gold medal don't solely hinge upon the play of Walker, but he's become the heart and soul of the team with his steady play and ability to lead by example. Much like Rubio, I wouldn't be surprised if Walker takes away MVP honours with a U.S. win.
Fountain of Youth
Former NBA forward Luis Scola has without a doubt found the Fountain of Youth.
At 39-years old (!), Scola has dominated this tournament and has his Argentina squad at a perfect 5-0 heading into the Quarter-Finals. Scola is posting 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 points per game. He's just outside the top-10 in both points and rebounds per game - a place not many people would have expected him to be at this age.
But somehow, someway, Scola has given Argentina the lift they've needed to emerge as a legitimate threat to win the gold medal.
He'll have his hands full in the Quarter-Finals as Scola will have to go up against one of the tournaments best players in Nikola Jokic. If he can outplay a legitimate NBA MVP candidate, we may have to test Scola to see if he did indeed drink from the Fountain of Youth before the World Cup began.
Through five games in China, FIBA Ricky Rubio has been a force to be reckoned with.
The 28-year-old point guard has done a little bit of everything for the Spanish National Team, leading them to a perfect 5-0 record by averaging a team-high 14.6 points and 4.8 assists to go along with 3.6 rebounds per game.
Sunday, Rubio helped Spain hand Serbia its first loss of the tournament with a team-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Now, As the top team in Group J, Spain now has a favourable path to the championship game as it opens the Quarter-Finals with Poland and is opposite both the United States and Serbia in the bracket.
Should Spain advance past Poland it would face the winner of the Quarter-Final between Australia and the Czech Republic with a trip to the Final on the line. Rubio's efforts to lead Spain this far should not go unnoticed, and the country's aspirations to win World Cup gold for the first time since 2006 largely hinge on his performance.
If Spain does capture gold, expect Rubio to hoist the MVP trophy.
Bogdan Bogdanovic's numbers at this World Cup look like he's playing a video game with the shooting sliders turned all the way up.
Bogdanovic has played a major role in Serbia's dominance, averaging 20.6 points per game - good for sixth-best in the tournament. But his scoring numbers - though they are impressive - are not what's so remarkable; it's his shooting splits.
Bogdanovic has converted 34 of his 61 field goal attempts, shooting 55.7% from the field. From beyond the arc, he's been equally as deadly, converting 18 of his 33 attempts shooting 54.5% from long range.
He ranks seventh in field goal percentage for the tournament - an impressive feat for a guard on a list with mostly forwards and bigs. He ranks tied for eighth in 3-point percentage but for players with a minimum of 20 attempts, he's tied for first with New Zealand's Corey Webster.
He's been Serbia's leading scorer and they're going to need him to continue to score efficiently if the Serbs want their early World Cup success to turn into a gold medal on the back end of the tournament.
Most likely to become a star
Hachimura was one of just two members of the this year's draft class to play in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the other being Brazillian Didi Louzada.
We only saw Hachimura in three games, but the 21-year-old showed enough to get fans of Japanese - and Wizards - basketball excited for what's to come in the future.
His scoring average of 13.3 points per game might not jump off the page, but it's a figure that was negatively impacted by Japan's loss to Team USA in which he was essentially neutralized as his team was overmatched. Even in that loss, he found a way to make his presence felt with a major highlight slam.
🎥 RUI HIGHLIGHTS 🎥 @rui_8mura at the 2019 #FIBAWC in China! 🇯🇵- Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) September 9, 2019
(via @FIBAWC) pic.twitter.com/bnKg8FXHWE
Prior to facing the U.S., Hachimura scored an efficient 21 points (on 8-12 shooting) to go along with six rebounds and four assists in a loss to the Czech Republic. With Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, Japan has automatically qualified to compete next summer, meaning this won't be the last we see of Hachimura on an international stage.
Until then, he'll likely continue to make even more strides alongside All-Star Bradley Beal and a revamped Wizards team.