Last years' bronze medallists Serbia are a step away from another podium finish at the U18 European Championship Women in Vukovar after producing a vibrant 72-62 quarter-final success against Russia.
|Aleksandra Crvendakic was irrepressible for Serbia, scoring 21 points to go with 15 boards|
Having missed the previous game, Aleksandra Crvendakic was back showing her class with a super 21 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
Meanwhile Sanja Mandic who also did not play in the previous encounter was superb, adding 14 points, six assists and a stunning seven steal.
Serbia were on top right from the beginning of the second quarter, when a 9-2 start to the period put them ahead 27-19 on the back of a three-pointer by Julijana Vojinovic.
The run included one of the most exquisite assists of the tournament, dished up by Mandic, as the confidence flowed behind the background noise of huge vocal support.
The Serbian fans were rewarded with the commitment shown during hustle plays to recover the ball from the floor and when one of those was followed by another Mandic triple, the party started early.
A weak-side put back by Ines Corda handed Serbia a double-digit lead at 35-25 and whilst Russia briefly came back into it to reduce the gap to five, a big three from the corner minutes later by the irrepressible Crvendakic put her team 10 points in front again.
When Mandic hit her biggest three-pointer of the day from way downtown to make it 47-32, it and looked a long way back for Russian and so it proved.
As hard as they tried, Russia could not find any kind of a decisive run and Serbia saw the game out in relative comfort.
Dragana Stankovic also did the business under the hoop for Serbia with 20 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Daria Kolosovskaia excelled for Russia with 19 points and six boards.