Serbia Rally Back To Stun Spain

27.07.2012

U16 MEN QUARTER-FINALS

By Jared Grellet

7. Vukan Stojanovic (Serbia)
Vukan Stojanovic provided Serbia with priceless scoring, ending the game with 17 points

Turning Point: Spain sub out influential guard Brais Gago at the beginning of the final frame. With Gago off the court Serbia go on a 9-2 scoring run to come back into the game.

Game Hero: Stefan Lazarevic. Blocks a potential game-winning shot from Marc Bauza with two seconds remaining.

Stats Don't Lie: Serbia were clinical on the turnover, scoring 15 points compared to nine from Spain.

Serbia have fought back to Stun Spain, overcoming a 16-point deficit to win 68-67, becoming the second team to move into the semi-finals at the Dadu U16 European Championship.

Serbia were setting the early tempo, beginning the game on an 8-0 run, helping them to a six-point lead at the conclusion of the opening frame.

But Spain wasted no time at cutting into the deficit, as David Martinez took his team on a 14-4 scoring run in the first four-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter, putting the Spanish up by four.

Serbia finally awoke from their slumber and went into damage control, assuring the Spaniard's lead was restricted to a point at the half.

Playing just eight-and-a-half minutes in the opening half, Brais Gago stayed on the court for the entire third quarter for Spain, scoring seven points and adding three assists to take his team on what appeared to be the game-deciding run.

But with Diego Ocampo opting to give Gago a breather at the beginning of the final frame, Serbia were allowed to come back, setting the game up for a tense finish.

Trailing by a point with half a minute remaining, Ilija Dokovic appeared to have blown it for Serbia with a wayward pass turning the ball over to Spain.

However, some intense defence disallowed Spain from scoring again and on the next Serbian offensive play, Dokovic was able to make up for his earlier error, picking up the foul driving to the basket before delivering from the charity stripe by knocking down a pair.

Bauza then looked like scoring the game-winning shot only for Lazarevic to come up with the play of his young career, blocking Spain's center to assure victory for Serbia.

Vukan Stojanovic was the main contributor for Serbia with 17 points whilst Nikola Pavlovic added 13. Lazarevic finished with nine points and 10 boards.

Gago lead Spain with 17 points and six assists.

 


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