by Dan Casey
|Nikola Rebic was huge for the Serbs with 21 points to go with his 4 assists|
Serbia handed hosts Czech Republic their first defeat of the competition and grabbed a crucial win in Qualifying Round Group E.
The Serbian team used a strong first quarter to establish an advantage, and the Czech Republic were never able to get closer than 5 points.
Serbia ended the game with 50% shooting to just 36% from their opponents, and the Czech Republic could not recover from this difference.
Nikola Rebic led the Serbian team with 21 points.
Dusan Ristic scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and Brano Djukanovic also added 14 points.
The Czech team had another double-double from Martin Peterka (20 points, 17 rebounds), and Radovan Kouril registered 20 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.
Trailing 30-18 after the first quarter, the Czech team rallied with an 8-2 run to close the half, Jiri Soula's shot making the score 44-36 to Serbia.
When Peterka then opened the second half with a three-pointer, the lead was down to five points and the Czech fans were dreaming of a comeback victory.
But Djukanovic hit a three-pointer late in the third period to push the lead back to 12, and another Djukanovic three put the lead up to 16 with 6:53 remaining.