Abrines Trey Lifts Spain Over Serbia

22.07.2012

U20 MEN

Turning point: Alejandro Abrines executed a timeout play designed by Luis Guil to perfection and nailing a fade-away three-pointer t with 9 seconds left decided the game for Spain.

Game Hero: Abrines missed the first three shots from the three-point line, but he proved clutch when it mattered most and hit the game-winner. The guard finished the game with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Stats Don't Lie: Spain shot 60% from two-point range, while Serbia only made 40.9% of their shots.

Spain will take home the bronze medal from the U20 European Championship 2012 after Alejandro Abrines' game-winner gave them a dramatic 67-66 victory over Serbia on Sunday.

10. Alejandro Abrines (Spain)
Alejandro Abrines' last gasp shot decided the dramatic encounter

Spain went ahead early, taking a 9-4 lead after points from Alejandro Suarez, Jose Pozas and Pere Oriola. However, Serbia bounced back to tie the game, as Luka Mitrovic scored a basket and Aleksandar Cvetkovic hit from downtown.

The Spanish scored the first basket in the second quarter but it was Serbia who went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 25-20, before Spain's big man Julen Olaizola stopped the spurt with a dunk and Jaime Fernandez added two more points.

Serbia re-established a 29-24 lead but then went without score for four and a half minutes, allowing Spain to close the gap and even take a short lead before a Nenad Miljenovic basket just before the halftime buzzer gave Serbia a 33-32 advantage.

Daniel Diez made a lay-up to make it 40-36 early in the second half, but Serbia once again came back to tie the score at 44-44 halfway through the third period.

The Spanish team was in front 52-46 with less than three seconds left in the third period, but Nemanja Dangubic's half-court buzzer-beater cut the Serbian deficit to three points.

With Spain up 54-53, Nemanja Dangubic converted two free-throws and then added a thunderous dunk to make it 57-54 for Serbia.

Spain did not score from the field for more than eight minutes in the fourth quarter but they still managed to put their noses back in front with six free-throws in a row (61-60).

However, Bogdan Bogdanovic answered with four shots of his own from the charity line and Cvetkovic added one to make it 65-61 for Serbia.

Spain's first field goal in the final quarter came with 35 seconds left, when Francisco Guerra converted on an and-one play to cut the deficit to one points (64-65).

Nenad Miljenovic stepped out of bounds on the inbound play to hand Spain the initiative, but they couldn't score. With 11 seconds on the clock, Luka Mitrovic was intentionally fouled and only made one free-throw for a 66-64 Serbia lead.

With nine seconds left on the clock Abrines' huge fade-away three-pointer gave Spain the win and third place in the tournament.

There were still 9 seconds on the clock for Serbia, but Aleksandar Cvetkovic drive was stopped, as the ball was knocked out of bounds. However, Nenad Miljenovic couldn't make the last second shot either.

"I'm very proud of my team and my players. The last ten seconds was like a war and they held on and took the victory," said Spain's coach Luis Guil.

"The team's execution of the last play was perfect. I always prefer the shot, because it gives you an opportunity to foul if you miss. I like to race in my life. That's my philosophy."

Jaime Fernandez had a team-high 16 points for Spain, Alejandro Abrines finished the game with 11, while Daniel Diez added 9 points and 6 rebounds.

For Serbia, Luka Mitrovic finished the game with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while the team's captain Djordje Drenovac added 10 points.


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