Both teams were viciously routed in the quarter-finals: Israel lost by 23 points to France, while Serbia & Montenegro lost by “only” 20 against Turkey.
But tonight Israel once again gave a good fight for only one half, and finished down by 26 points, 88-62 on the way to another match-up with Greece in the 7th-8th place game. Serbia will face Russia in attempt to finish 5th.
Israel was the first to take off. After a minimum 9-8 lead came a 4-12 run until the end of the first quarter, which finished with Israel up by 9, 12-21, with big contribution from Yoni Nir and Niv Berkowitz.
Tripkovic of Serbia & Montenegro already had 3 fouls, but his team opened the 2nd quarter with an 11-0 run, forcing the Israeli coach to call for a timeout. Yoni Nir finally broke the drought after 4:30 minutes without scoring but Serbia was already on the run, and the first half finished with Israel down by 6, 36-30.
Israel then fell asleep once again, and for 6 minutes didn’t score a single point. One turnover after the other by the Israeli side allowed the Serbs to take advantage and push to a 20 point lead, 56-36. Israel was once again unable to recover from the big gap, and Serbia added 10 more points to its lead pretty quick, and finished the game with a 26 point margin.