Serbia Top Slovenia In Epic Semi

19.09.2009

By Adriana Garcia Senchermes

Game Summary

Turning Point: Leading 79-76, Slovenia did not foul Serbia to prevent a three-pointer and the decision backfired as Milos Teodosic buried a shot from behind the arc to tie the game at 79-79. Laka Lakovic then missed a lay-up that would have won the game in regulation, Serbia won in overtime.
 
Heroes: Serbia's Milos Teodosic poured in eight of his game-high 32 points in overtime to guide his team victory.
He finished 10 of 13 (77%) from the charity stripe and six of 10  from behind the arc.
 
Key Stats: Serbia outrebounded Slovenia 39-35.

----------------------------------------------------

Milos Teodosic exploded for 32 points as Serbia edged Slovenia 96-92 in overtime on Saturday night to reach the EuroBasket Final.

Dusan Ivkovic's men will take on Spain in Sunday's gold-medal game, a team they beat in their Group C Preliminary Round opener in Warsaw.

6. Milos Teodosic (Serbia)
Milos Teodosic hit the game-tying three at the end of regulation, and would not be denied in the extra period.

Teodosic, whose three-pointer knotted the contest at 79-79 late in regulation to force the extra period, then poured in eight of his game-high in points in the final five minutes to guide his team to victory.

He finished 10 of 13 (77%) from the charity stripe and six of 10 from behind the arc.

"Milos Teodosic is one of the best point guards in Europe," said Serbia forward Novica Velickovic.

"What he did today was unbelievable. I'm so happy for him.

"This is a great thing for Serbian basketball and this new generation.

"We are a young team, we can't be tired, and tomorrow in the finals we'll give everything."

Serbia have been remarkable.

After a disappointing show at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain, where they lost all three games, Ivkovic was handed the reins and set about building a team with youth and one that would be competitive for years to come.

The aim of Serbia was to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship but now they will leave with at least a silver medal and maybe gold if they can beat the world champions again.

Slovenia, who got a brilliant 25-point performance from Erazem Lorbek before the big man fouled out in the fourth quarter, still led 79-76 with 35 seconds to play after Jaka Lakovic made one of two free-throws.

Instead of fouling and not allowing Serbia to attempt a three-pointer, Slovenia allowed the red-hot Teodosic to free himself for a three-ball and he connected to tie the game at 79-79.

Lakovic had a chance to win with a drive but he missed and the game went to overtime.

Once in the extra period, Serbia got two quick baskets from Nenad Krstic to take the lead for good.

Lorbek fouling out with 4:29 to go in the fourth quarter was a blow for Slovenia.

In addition to his scoring, he had pulled down 10 rebounds and come up with three steals.

"When my brother fouled out that really hurt our play," said Slovenia's Domen Lorbek, who finished with 22 points.
"We didn't go inside anymore.

"Teodosic hurt us with his pick-and-roll and some big three-pointers."

Lakovic's three-ball allowed Slovenia to cut the deficit 92-91 with 12 seconds remaining in overtime but forced to foul

15. Erazem Lorbek (Slovenia)
Erazem Lorbek put in another MVP performance, before foulding out late in the fourth.
to stop the clock, Jure Zdovc's team put Teodosic on the line and he made no mistake as he scored his last four points to seal the win.

"Teodosic was the key player of this game," Zdovc said.

"We made stupid mistakes and he punished us.

"I have to congratulate him for his great performance."

Ivkovic was full of praise for his team, who trailed 52-41 midway through the third quarter, scored eight unanswered points as part of a 20-5 run to take a 62-58 lead early in the fourth quarter.

"Our defense in the second half was really great and I think we deserve this victory," he said.

"But Slovenia really played great the whole competition."

Slovenia must now beat Greece - losers to Spain in the first Semi-Final - in the bronze-medal game on Sunday.

Serbia will have little time to recover before they take on Spain for the second time in the tournament.

Serbia out-rebounded Slovenia 39-35.

Krstic and Kosta Perovic poured in 18 points apiece.


RELATED NEWS

Greece Capture Bronze20.09.2009
Slovenia Roar Into Semi-Finals18.09.2009
Slovenia Slip Past Turkey, Top Group F16.09.2009
Slovenia Put Hosts In Must Win Situation14.09.2009
Slovenia Make It Look Easy12.09.2009
Spain Blow Late Lead, Hang On To Beat Slovenia09.09.2009
Slovenia Stay On A Roll08.09.2009

Advertisement