Milos Teodosic continued his superb U20 European Championship Men by scoring 26 points and dishing out five assists in Serbia's 88-83 victory over Turkey on Sunday to remain well in the hunt to defend their gold medal from last summer.
Vlada Vukoicic's team made 10 of their 12 free throws in the final 1:12 to keep the Turks at bay and improve to 2-1 in Group E of the Qualifying Round in Gorizia.
Turkey dropped to 1-2 in the group and now have slim chances of advancing to Saturday's semi-finals.
"We knew coming in that this would be a very tough and important game because both teams were 1-1 coming in. And we knew that if we lost that we would likely be out. And that was a big psychological obstacle for both teams," said Vukoicic.
"We made some big free throws and now have a much better chance than before today."
Neither team really pulled away at all in the game. Mehmet Yagmur scored 12 of his 26 in the first quarter to help Turkey build a 23-18 lead.
The combination of Teodosic and Dragan Labovic, who added 21 points and eight rebounds for the game, brought Serbia ahead 41-40 at half-time.
Serbia were up 59-58 after three periods and ahead 73-71 with 3:42 left to play. Turkey committed back-to-back turnovers and Teodosic made three free throws and Marko Djurkovic converted a three-point play to give Serbia a 79-71 lead with 1:56 remaining.
Yagmur scored two inside lay-ups to pull Turkey to within 81-77, but Milenko Tepic and Teodosic both made two foul shots and Labovic hit three in the final minute.
Djurkovic chipped in 15 points for Serbia, while Turkish captain Oguz Savas had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Birkan Batuk added 11 points in a losing cause.
Turkey dropped to 1-2 and face Slovenia on Wednesday while Serbia will take on Russia.