|01 August 2008|
Last year Serbia won the gold medal in both the U20 European Championship and U19 World Championship.
For that reason there was no surprise in Serbia's win in the first day 84-75 over Russia in Group D, but the losing side deserves good words for the work they made Serbia do to get the win.
Miroslav Raduljica led Serbia with a monster double-double of 30 points and 13 rebounds. Milan Macvan settled for "only" 21 points, 11 boards and two blocks.
Russia's guard Alexey Shved was the leading scorer of the game with a blasting offensive performance of 39 points including eight three pointers in addition to five rebounds and three assists.
Russia stormed from the start and climbed to a six point lead half way through the first quarter. Macvan made sure his team won't feel short handed and with a long range ace tied the score at 20-20 after one quarter.
No side managed to take a significant lead during the second quarter, but Russia displayed Shved's hot hand as he reached 23 points already after 16 and a half minutes.
Serbia relied on their bigs - Macvan and Raduljica - who combined 26 in the first half, enough to give their team a 43-42 lead at half-time.
Dmitriy Khvostov was accurate from long range, but Macvan scored his first bucket of the third behind the arc to bring Serbia one point behind, 58-57.
In the last three minutes of the third both teams lost their rhythm and failed to score but one minute inside the deciding period the ball touched the net again.
Russia already took a five point lead, 64-59, but Macvan and Raduljica dominated in a 12-0 run that changed the face of the game.
Russia and Shved couldn't find the answer to take over the game once again, and watched Serbia hold on to the lead to finish with a nine point win, 84-75.
Serbia will take on France tomorrow while Russia will aim for their first win against Slovenia.