Serbia Into Semis

07.08.2008

Serbia made it to the semi-finals of the tournament after a big 97-70 win over the local team of Latvia in Group F.

The Serbs took the first spot in the group with a 4-1 record, while Latvia, after two great wins on the previous days, dropped to 2-3 and will play the 9-12 classification games.

Spain will join Serbia in the semi-finals from the second spot in the group.

The first semi-finals will feature Serbia and Turkey, while Lithuania will take on Spain.

Latvia entered the game knowing they need a big margin to advance to the semi-finals, but after two great starts in the previous days, couldn't make it happen again.

Serbia dominated the game for 40 minutes, and even a small local come back in the second quarter didn't change the picture.

Mladen Jeremic led Serbia with 21 points including five long range hits, Milan Macvan added 17 with eight assists while Boban Marjanovic scored 12 and blocked twice.

Rihards Kuksiks led the way for Latvia with 25 points connecting eight out of 14 shots and Janis Strelnieks added 15.

The local star, Dairis Bertans, was limited by a great Serbian defense and finished the game with three points behind making just one of his ten attempts.

After five minutes Latvia was still looking for their first points and by that time Serbia held a 12-0 lead, on the way to a 22-8 first quarter lead.

Jeremic in a big performance made it already a 19 point game, but then Latvians showed some life signs for a change.

After 10 unanswered points led by Kuksiks the gap was just five, and the teams were separated by nine, 46-37.

If Latvia spent the half time break dreaming about taking over the game, at least to get the win, Serbia gave them a wake up call.

Jeremic and Raduljica hit time after time to make it a 15 point game again, as the teams entered the last ten minutes with Serbia up 69-54.

With a 15-2 run Serbia made the last minutes of the game easier for them, as the gap just continued to swell, reaching already 32.


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