Serbia Struggle But Pull Out A Win

02 August 2008

After two days Serbia is still perfect after a 90-78 win over Slovenia in Group D.

The win pushes Serbia to a 2-0 record while Slovenia will look for their first win tomorrow. 

Miroslav Raduljica topped Serbia with another great performance of 22 points and nine rebounds, Marko Keselj added 19 points and four assists, Boban Marjanovic scored 12 with five blocks while Milan Macvan settled for 11 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Mirko Mulalic led Slovenia with 17 points and Edin Alispahic added 14. 

"This isn't the best generation of Slovenia and we're also missing some players here," said coach Mirsad Alilovic from Slovenia.

"After the terrible defeat we had in the first day I'm happy today, because we showed courage, and didn't fear to face Serbia. I hope to win the next game and avoid an uncomfortable situation. 

Serbia were clear favorites before the game, certainly after Slovenia's huge defeat last night to France, but things didn't go so smoothly for them.

Slovenia fired first and with big fighting spirit on every ball shocked Serbia by taking an eight point lead in the first quarter, enough to stay up 22-16 after ten minutes.

Even an unsportsmanlike foul on Slovenia didn't change the rhythm of the game, as Slovenia climbed to a double-digit lead early in the second.

Marjanovic became power in the paint but Serbia still didn't find the path back to the game, as Slovenia maintained their ten point margin,

The Serbian giant climbed to five blocks before half time which allowed his team to cut the deficit to just three points, before Vujasinovic hit his first field goal before half time, 42-37.

Serbia came back from the rest with a total different approach. After five minutes it was already a tied game, and after 30 minutes Serbia was on top 66-60 behind a good quarter by Keselj and Radujica.

Once on top Serbia never allowed Slovenia any hopes for a win.

Raduljica was unstoppable in the paint, connecting 13 points in the last quarter as his team established the win.

"I didn't play much in the first half, so when I got my chance in the second I wanted to show what I can do," said the big guy of Serbia.

"The difference between the halves was that in the second we played our game. We were more focused and played harder on defense, and that won the game for us." 

Serbia will play France on the last day, and Slovenia will face Russia hoping to win a escape from the 13-16 classification games. 

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