by Yarone Arbel
Serbia and France are the two teams who recovered quicker in the U16 European Championship 5-8 Classification Round with wins at Sports Hall Topolica in Bar, Montenegro on Saturday afternoon.
France beat Russia easily 68-51 while Serbia edged the local team of Montenegro 78-74 after a thrilling finish that reminded of the previous night.
Tomorrow Serbia and France will fight for the fifth spot in the group, while Montenegro and Russia will try to recover from back-to-back losses to win the seventh place.
The French team enjoyed a better start and led 16-8 after five minutes, on their way to a 33-25 advantage at the end of the first half.
Russia stayed close in the third, but Raphael Binvignat stepped up in the last quarter with drives to the hoop and Racine was active as ever to open a double-digit gap and secure the win.
Anthony Racine reached 22 points for France and added eight rebounds while Alexandre Chassang added 11 with seven rebounds.
Rostislav Karenin topped the list of Russia in points and rebounds but marked only nine in the first and eight and the second.
The two teams with the most fans here faced each other in a "derby" that went down to the last seconds before Serbia won it.
The lead changed hands in the first half, but it was Nikola Jankovic who gave his team a 61-56 lead with the finish line of the third quarter.
Serbia took the lead back but Montenegro scored five in a row to enter the last 50 seconds with a 71-74 advantage, before Jankovic cut it quickly to one point.
After Nikola Zizic missed twice from the foul line Jankovic fixed a miss with a big offensive rebound and a lay up to put his team on top, and right away put pressure on the in-bound to force a turnover by Dusan Perovic.
The same Jankovic was send to the free throw line, but hit just once with six seconds to play, and Montenegro still had time to fix, yet Luka Durovic missed twice again at the charity stripe and Serbia secure the win.
Serbia saw Jankovic finish with 21 points and 13 rebounds, Stefan Pot added 13 and Dusan Ristic had 10.
Montenegro's go-to guy Nikola Ivanovic finished another big game with 29 points and four assists, Perovic added 13 while Milos Pajovic and Durovic scored 10 each.