|Aleksandra Crvendakic was outstanding once more for Serbia, scoring 22 points to go with 16 rebounds and four steals|
Serbia advanced to the second round of the U18 European Championship Women with a 54-45 Group C success against a still winless Portugal, but had to recover from a worrying third quarter meltdown.
Cruising at the break with a healthy double-digit lead at 28-17 and having held their opponents to a meagre four points during the second period, Serbia fell asleep in the third quarter.
Portugal came out rejuvenated and took the game to the Serbians as they launched an impressive salvage bid, with some excellent play at both ends of the floor.
Finding their range on offence they poured in 18 points and after making defensive adjustments, locked down Serbia and contained them to just five points.
A basket by Chelsea Guimaraes even put them 35-33 in front, but Serbia stopped the rot with a powerful start to the final quarter.
Portugal struggled to contain the dangerous Aleksandra Crvendakic who proved to be the match-winner by accumulating a spectacular 22 points, 16 rebounds and four steals.
Guimaraes had 11 points and eight rebounds for Portugal.