Final: A EuroBasket 2009 Déjà Vu


There must be something about Serbia-Spain finals on Polish soil. In 2009 the two countries contested the EuroBasket title in Katowice. Two years later in Wroclaw they square off for the gold medal at the U18 European Championship Men.

Spain go for U18 title number three following crowns in 1998 and 2004 while Serbia are trying to capture their third championship in the past five years after winning in 2007 and 2009.

9. Daniel Diez (Spain)
Serbia will have to stop Daniel Diez

Spain come into the game as the only undefeated team in Wroclaw while Serbia have suffered losses to Turkey and Poland on their way to the final.

The key to the game most likely will be Serbia's ability to stop Spain's transition game and if they can keep the Spaniards from getting offensive rebounds, where they rank second in the tournament.

That could be a paramount effort if Serbian starting big man Nemanja Bezbradica cannot go in the final. He injured his left knee in the final minute of the first half against Italy and did not return the rest of the game.

That will put added pressure on his backup Nikola Jankovic, who had a strong game but will also need help from the entire defense in boxing out the aggressive, athletic and quick Spanish.

At the same time the Serbs will have to find a way to keep Spain's long-distance shooting under wraps as Spain are the top three-point shooting team in the tournament.

Serbia for their part do a good job passing the ball and finding the open player as they are second in assists. And the Serbs get to the free throw line the most in the tournament. Still, Spain are second in opponent field goal percentage.

On Serbia's side, Luka Mitrovic and Dorde Milosevic will have to pick up their games and get some big baskets as Vasilje Micic and Nenad Miljenovic attempt to fend off the Spanish defensive pressure.

Serbia coach Marko Ičelič has been going with Miljenovic when the game is on the line as Micic has struggled at times in this tournament with turnovers. And that is something that Serbia cannot afford.

The Serbs also cannot afford to get behind Spain like they did against Italy as Spain have too many weapons and could easily pull away even further. Serbia will likely have to rely on their strong will to win to overcome Spain in what should be an entertaining, high quality and intense final.

Watch a video preview of the bronze medal game here!

Watch the game live on!


31.07.2011 - U18 MEN
31.07.2011 - U18 MEN
31.07.2011 - U18 MEN
31.07.2011 - U18 MEN PREVIEW

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