U19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
|Vasilje Micic had 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists against Croatia|
Lithuania and Serbia won their respective quarter-final encounters on Friday and are the two European teams that will have a shot at a medal at the U19 World Championship in Prague.
Serbia will face Australia in the first semi-final on Saturday while Lithuania will go up against the United States in the other.
In the all-European quarter-final clash the Serbians established a firm grip on proceedings from early on and forced their neighbours Croatia to play catch-up throughout the game.
They led by seven points at the end of the first quarter but the Croats reduced the gap to 38-35 before the half-time interval on two back-to-back three-pointers by Tomislav Gabric.
Serbia replied by hitting consecutive shots from behind the arc when the two teams returned from the locker rooms and restored a comfortable nine-point cushion.
They protected their lead efficiently the rest of the way never allowing Croatia to come any closer than five points and clinched a 73-66 victory to punch their ticket to the semi-finals.
Mihajlo Andric paved the way for the winners with 20 points, while point guard Vasilje Micic delivered a magnificent all-round performance and collected 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Dario Saric finished with a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds, while Gabric added 14 points in losing efforts.
Despite the loss, Saric still leads the tournament in points and rebounds and is a close second on the most-assists-per-game table.
In Friday's first quarter-final, Lithuania shot the ball poorly from long range during the first quarter and were tied with China at 18 after the first 10 minutes.
Once they imposed their offensive tempo however they made easy work of the encounter and cruised to an 89-58 victory.
Marius Grigonis and Jokubas Gintvainis had 12 points each for the European team, with Grigonis also grabbing seven boards; Denis Krestinin meanwhile collected a game-high 11 rebounds to go with his seven points.
Spain provided the negative surprise of the day from a European perspective in their quarter-final against Australia, as they did not resemble in anything the team that had impressed during the first two rounds of the tournament by winning five of their six games.
The Spaniards failed to match their opponents for intensity and focus throughout the entire encounter and Australia guard Dante Exum wreaked havoc on offence, scoring a tournament-high 33 points.
Spain trailed by as much as 23 points until Alberto Diaz spurred a late comeback attempt that however fell short, as they were defeated 87-76.
Diaz finished with 19 points and Josep Perez added 12 points for Spain in defeat.
In the fourth and last quarter-final, the United States defeated Canada 109-67.