|19 July 2005|
Serbia & Montenegro earned a crucial win over Russia in their first Quarter-Final Round game at the U18 European Championship.
The match promised to be a hard-fought game and the two teams did not disappoint, serving up a thrilling see-saw contest.
It was an evenly-balanced affair throughout as although the hosts gained a five-point lead within the opening three minutes, they failed to stretch that advantage and Russia stayed within range, trailing 43-41 at half-time.
Vasily Zavoruev netted two three-pointers either side of the interval, the second of which edged Russia ahead, and the tension among the home crowd grew as Artur Urazmanov ended a scoring drought with another three-pointer to put Russia 47-43 in front.
Milos Teodosic's three-point jump shot helped the hosts keep the pressure on yet Russia still enjoyed a three-point lead, 58-55, going into the final quarter.
But Dragan Labovic led the Serbo-Montenegrin fightback before Nenad Mijatovic kept his nerve to land two crucial free-throws and edge his team ahead with less than three minutes on the clock.
Petr Gubanov wasted one of his free-throw attempts moments later for Russia and that would prove costly as Milenko Tepic then nailed a three-point jump shot to give the hosts a lead they would not relinquish in the closing moments.
Labovic's six-point haul in the final quarter meant he finished his side's top scorer with 15 points while he also collected 12 rebounds.
Vladimir Dasic and Marko Djurkovic were next best for Serbia & Montenegro with 13 points apiece, but Russian guard Zavoruev claimed the game-high of 16.