In a very close game between evenly matched teams Serbia earned themselves the desired opening win. In the evening game at Kozani, the Serbs beat Italy 58-55.
Italy had the chance to send the game into overtime but weren't able to get a three point attempt off in the last five seconds.
Italy Head Coach Guido Cantamesse hoped for a better outcome. "We played too nervous. That was our problem in this game. In the first half we did not make out shots and hit only 20 percent. In the second half we played with a lot of heart. In the last minute we missed two shots inside. I hope for a better outcome tomorrow."
Giulia Gombac contributed 15 points while Francesca Minali grabbed 15 rebounds. For Serbia, Natasa Kovacevic performed well, piling up 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals.
Italy were able to clinch a narrow lead after the first ten minutes but couldn't hold on to their advantage. Serbia went on a 8-0 run (15-22) to start the second quarter. Their defense allowed the Italians only 7 points until halftime. Led by Kovacevic and Jovana Vidakovic (both combined for 15 of a total 33 points) Serbia established an 11 point lead at halftime.
After the intermission, Italy trimmed this deficit piece by piece. Finally, a three pointer tied the game at 38 points each. Serbia quickly responded with a three pointer themselves, but Italy's Antonia Peresson poured in another three points to equalize the score again.
Entering the quarter with the score of 41-41, dramatic final ten minutes began. Both sides found their shots from midrange and long distance. Elena Ramo's jumper put Italy in front (55-54) with 2:33 minutes remaining.
Kovacevic answered with two low-post points and helped Serbia reclaim the lead. On the following possessions both teams missed out on opportunities to score.
With 22 seconds left, Serbia was still up by one point. Italy had the possession but Serbia denied them. Kristina Topuzovic was able to get a hold of the ball and was immediately fouled. She hit both of her free throws to increase Serbia's lead to 58-55.
Italy had one final chance to tie the game but it was too little time for the Italians to find a good shot. Serbia escaped with the victory.