U19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
|Another silver medal for Vasilje Micic and Serbia|
Serbia fought bravely but ran out of steam in the second half and lost 82-68 to the USA in the final of the U19 World Championship Men in Prague on Sunday, while Lithuania outlasted Australia 106-100 in overtime to win bronze.
Point guard Vasilje Micic of Serbia and Croatia power forward Dario Saric were named into the All Tournament team, together with Dante Exum of Australia and Americans Jahlil Okafor and Aaron Gordon, who earned MVP honours.
The Serbs started strong in the title game and although the United States claimed the lead midway through the first quarter, the Balkan side never allowed them to pull away.
The European team reached the half-time interval trailing by just two points, 40-38, thanks in a big degree to their long-range shooting (9-for-20 from behind the three-point arc at the end of the encounter).
In the third frame however Serbia's shooting percentages fell visibly and they only managed to score 13 points in the period.
The Americans continued their dominance on the glass, as they collected 17 offensive boards and out-rebounded the European side 39-28, and took their first double-digit lead at the start of the final frame, protecting it efficiently until the final buzzer.
Point guard Jovan Novak finished with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range, fellow guard Micic collected a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists while forward Nikola Jokic had 10 points for Serbia.
|Marius Grigonis and Lithuania captured a bronze medal|
Forward Montrezl Harrel paved the way for the Americans with 17 points and added four rebounds.
Earlier on Sunday, Lithuania went almost six minutes without a score in the third quarter and allowed the Australians to take a six-point lead at the end of period.
The Baltic side however bounced back in the final frame and could have even won the game in regulation were it not for some wasteful shooting from the free throw line.
The Australians tied the scores at 85 at the fourth buzzer but shooting guard Tomas Dimsa emerged in overtime and scored seven of his team-high 19 points to secure the win for the Lithuanians.
Marius Grigonis contributed 17 points and five rebounds, Lukas Lekavicius had 16 points while Martinas Geben and Simas Raupys finished with 12 points each.
Spain meanwhile defeated Canada 72-68 behind a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds by Juan Sebastian Saiz to take fifth place, while Croatia fell 94-80 to China and finished the tournament in eighth place.