Serbia Top Bulgaria
Serbia put to good use their height advantage as they overpowered Bulgaria 78-61 in the U18 European Championship for Women.
Sara Krnjic had her fourth double-double of the tournament already in the bag by half time with 14 points and 10 rebounds as Serbia finished Group F of the Qualifying Round with a 2-3 mark. The 1.91m centre would go on to finish with game-highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds.
Afterwards, head coach Zoran Kovacic said that the win was a sure signe of a bright future for a new generation of Serbian women's basketball.
"We knew coming to the tournament this year that it would be very hard to successfully defend it because we lost a lot of valuable players. While other teams got better, we didn't necessarily. But with the likes of Sara Krnjic, we can accomplish some great things in the future," he enthused.
Bulgaria were sent crashing to their fifth loss in a row in the competition, but made it hard on last year's champions as they used an 8-0 run in the third quarter to come within two, 40-38, midway through the period.
The Serbians then ran off eight unanswered point of their own to restore a double-digit lead and stretched it the rest of the way.
"They are playing as well as they can, but you look at the quality of the other teams in this tournament and you have to say they can't really compete with the best of them," Kovacic said of the Bulgarians.
Bulgaria put together one of their best performances of the tournament but, with the loss, finished at the bottom of Group F with an 0-5 mark.
Stanislava Stankova had 18 points for Gechev Ventislav's side.