Slovakia 68 Serbia & Montenegro 67


Slovakia prevailed 68-67 over Serbia & Montenegro to clinch seventh place in the European Championships here in Patras.

Ljubi Drljaca scored to give the Serbo-Montenegrins a 67-66 advantage with just 24 seconds left.

Lara Mandic was whistled for a foul on Martina Luptakova with just eight seconds left in the contest, though, and the Slovaks´ leading scorer with 21 points made both free throws for the final score.

Serbia & Montenegro inbounded the ball to point guard Gordana Kovacevic for one last roll of the dice but she was tied up by the Slovak defence and a jump ball was called at their free throw line with just a second remaining.

Kovacevic won the tip, but Miodrag Veskovic´s side didn´t have enough time to get off a potential game-winning shot.

Slovakia, whose finest moment at this tournament was their upset of Russia in their opening game, were in danger of getting blown out of this game early.

They trailed 33-20 with 3:38 remaining in the second quarter when Dalibor Vilipic made her fourth successive free throw in the space of 70 seconds.

Slovakia, behind 37-26 at the interval, went on a 15-4 run at the start of the second half to tie the game at 41.

The Slovaks finally took the lead at 45-43 with 3:46 to go in the third quarter and stayed in front but the Serbo-Montenegrins stayed close and Gordana Kovacevic´s bucket with 0:49 put them into a 65-64 lead.

Jana Kichnerova made two free throws before Drljaca gave Veskovic´s troops their final advantage.

Kovacevic had 21 points in a losing cause.


26.09.2003 - From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Patras
24.09.2003 - Jeff Taylor PA Sport

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