A sparkling double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds by Nikola Mirotic propelled Spain to a thrilling 86-79 win over Croatia as they secured themselves a podium finish by beating the hosts to third spot in a pulsating overtime game at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Zadar.
With the contest drifting listlessly towards a comfortable win for Spain who held a double-figure lead after three-quarters, Croatia finally exploded into life and launched a final quarter perimeter onslaught which almost cost Spain dearly.
Reigning champions Greece will defend their title in the showpiece game of the U20 European Championship Men 2010 after they punched their ticket for the Final of the tournament with a comfortable 71-56 win over hosts Croatia.
While it left something of an anti-climatic feel inside the Kresimir Cosic Hall as the disappointed home fans reflected on what might have been, Greece thoroughly deserved their win with Nikos Pappas pouring in another 23 points as well as grabbing eight rebounds.
There was jubilation and a party atmosphere at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Zadar as over three thousand fans celebrated with their team as hosts Croatia snatched victory from the gaping jaws of defeat in a thrilling 76-75 quarter-final win over rivals Serbia.
Led by the inspirational Mario Delas and returning Toni Prostran, they completed a dramatic and compelling comeback.
U20 European Championship Men 2010 hosts Croatia now have Serbia in their sights when the action moves to Zadar for the quarter-finals after wrapping up the Qualifying Round in Makarska with a 77-63 win against Italy.
Croatia head coach Borislav Kurtovic admitted the clash with the Italians who had already failed to qualify for the last eight of the competition gave him a chance to rotate his players and he was left satisfied with the results.