U20 Women Quarter-Finals
|Tijana Ajdukovic stepped up for Serbia with 10 points and 9 rebounds and an inspiring performance down the stretch|
Hosts Serbia held off Italy 60-55 to book their place in the semi-finals of the U20 European Championship Women.
An Italian rally put a scare into Serbia, who had looked comfortable with a 49-38 lead going into the final quarter.
But Italy began the final period on a 10-3 run, closing to within four, 52-48, on Elena Bestagno's lay-up with 3:40 to.
They missed chances to go closer, with Alessandra Tava twice off-target with jump-shots, and were punished when Marina Markovic nailed a three-pointer to make it 55-48 with 1:58 left.
Snezana Colic split a pair of free throws to edge them further clear, but Italy were not ready to go away and Federica Nannucci made a pair of free throws before her lay-up cut it to four, 56-52, with 25 seconds left.
Tijana Ajdukovic's free throw gave Serbia breathing space, but a huge three from Tava put the game back in the balance with 15 seconds left.
Colic added one more free throw to make it 58-55 but Italy had a chance to tie it, only for Federica Tognalini to put up an air ball when she looked well set.
Instead, it was Serbia who had the final word with Ajdukovic's late lay-up.
Markovic led Serbia with 14 points while birthday girl Sara Krnjic - presented with a cake on the court after the final-buzzer - added 12 with nine rebounds.
Ajdukovic also scored in double figures with 10 points while adding nine rebounds.
Tognalini led Italy with 15 points.