Late Serbia Surge Ends Latvia Challenge

20.07.2012

U20 MEN

Turning point: With four and a half minutes left in the game, Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer over Janis Timma's outstretched hands to give Serbia a 62-58 lead.  In the next possession Timma was called for an unsportsmanlike foul and fouled out.

Game Hero: Stefan Nastic was close to a double-double in the winning performance, finishing the game with 9 points and 9 rebounds. During the 19 minutes Nastic was on the court, Serbia outscored Latvia by 24 points.

Stats Don't Lie: Serbia outrebounded their opponents 34-24.

6. Janis Timma (Latvia)
Janis Timma's ejection hurt Latvia's chances

Serbia left it late but they defeated Latvia 74-65 in the second quarter-final of the U20 European Championship 2012, to book a semi-final clash with Lithuania.

Serbia started pulling away halfway through the first quarter, outscoring their opponents 13-3 in a six minute stretch, crowned by two baskets by Nenad Miljenovic to open up a double-digit gap at 22-12.

However, the Latvians answered with a run of theirs as Marcis Vitols and Arturs Bricis converted on fast-breaks, while Timma also added a basket to further reduce the deficit and eventually tie the game at 25-25.

The Baltic team came out strong after the break, taking a 38-31 lead after Vitols hit a three-pointer followed by a fast break bucket.

Although Latvia shot 87.7% from the field in the whole third quarter, Serbia took advantage of its rebounding edge and finished the period leading 51-49.

With Serbia leading 59-58 and four and a half minutes left on the clock, Bogdanovic scored the key three-pointer over Timma to start a 13-0 run, which decided the outcome of the game.

Luka Mitrovic had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Serbia, while Miljenovic had 14 points and Aleksandar Cvetkovic chipped in with 10.

Timma was the top scorer for Latvia with 16 points, but his unsportsmanlike foul at the end of the last stanza seriously hurt his team.  

"We had a tough game, but that's how though it'd be. In the first half we didn't do what we had planned. We didn't play like we can. In the second half, we looked much better and won," said the captain of the Serbian team Djordje Drenovac.

Serbia will face Lithuania in the semi-final, while the Latvians will play Greece in the Classification Round for 5th to 8th place.


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