Turning Point: The Netherlands picked up where they left off during their disastrous fourth quarter in the semi-final against France with a woeful start to the game. Falling more than 20 points behind after 12 minutes was always likely to mean something of a mountain to climb.
Game Heroes: Aleksandra Stanacev finished an excellent tournament performance with a typically impressive 15 points while Natasa Kovacevic added five assists to her double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Stats Don't Lie: The Netherlands were 2 of 12 from downtown as their three-point shooting woes continued.
|Natasa Kovacevic signed off in Bucharest with a wonderful all-round performance, which helped Serbia towards conquering the bronze medal|
Serbia achieved their first podium finish at the U18 European Championship Women for five years after blowing away the Netherlands early to coast to a 59-46 success and take the bronze medal in Bucharest.
The last time the Serbians finished in the top three was on home soil when the golden generation of Sonja Petrovic, Jelena Milovanovic and Co fired their nation to glory in Novi Sad.
This time, after a disappointing semi-final loss to Russia, third place was the best they could attain but they certainly grabbed the bronze position in fine style.
They raced out of the blocks and caught the Dutch completely cold. Ultimately, their powerful 22-9 opening quarter gave them a sizeable cushion and whilst the Netherlands tried to retrieve the situation, the damage had already been done.
Especially when Serbia also started strongly at the start of the second period, triples by Natasa Kovacevic and Sanja Mandic taking them out to an unassailable 30-9 lead.
The Netherlands has been one of the poorest perimeter-shooting teams in the competition and again, their failure from the three-point line was a factor since it meant they were always labouring to haul themselves back into contention.
There was a late wag of the tail by the Dutch team which made the final score-line a little more respectable.
Whilst missing out on the podium, coach Remy de Wit and his players will take significant satisfaction from a super fourth-place finish.