United States, left, secured a place in the semi-finals of the FIBA World Cup after convincingly beating Italy ©Getty Images

The United States and Serbia secured the first semi-final places at the International Basketball Federation World Cup after winning today’s opening quarter-finals.

The US ran out convincing 100-63 winners over Italy at the Mall of Asia Arena at Manila in the Philippines opening up a 22-point lead after two quarters.

They then raced clear after outscoring their opponents 37-20 in the third thanks to an effective full court zone-press.

Mikal Bridges was the US top scorer with 24 points and was named as the player of the match.

The US won four out of their five matches on the way to reaching the final phase, and head coach Steve Kerr praised his side’s defence as they secured a place in the last four of the tournament, which is being co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

"It was our best defensive effort of the tournament to this point, and that's what it's going to take to win two more games," Kerr said.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, left, top scored for Serbia in their quarter-final win over Lithuania ©Getty Images
Bogdan Bogdanovic, left, top scored for Serbia in their quarter-final win over Lithuania ©Getty Images

"You always want to respond to a loss with a competitive effort, and the joy and competitiveness go hand in hand when you compete and play with that kind of force and energy."

In the day’s second quarter-final Serbia recovered from trailing at the end of the first quarter to overcome Lithuania 87-68.

Lithuania led 25-24 after quarter one, but Serbia took a grip on the contest in the second quarter winning it by 12 points to lead 49-38 at the interval.

Serbia repeatedly forced turnovers and pulled away to win by 19 points, to reach the semi-finals for the third time in the last four editions of the tournament.

Bogdan Bogdanovic top scored for Serbia with 21 points from 13 attempts, as the side that finished second in Group I following the second round, overcame a Lithuania team that were unbeaten in all five of their games up to this point.

The two remaining quarter-finals are due to be played in Manila tomorrow, with Germany taking on Latvia and Canada facing Slovenia.