|20 August 2013|
|Cecilia Zandalasini had a magical 21 points and nine boards for Italy|
There was joy for Italy at U18 European Championship Women after they punched their ticket to the last eight as Cecelia Zandalasini and Antonia Peresson catapulted them to a thrilling 64-62 win over Serbia who tasted defeat for the first time.
The Italian duo fired for a combined 40 points, making eight shots from the perimeter whilst Zandalasini also contributed nine rebounds in another classy performance.
With Serbia four points in front at the break, Italy burst into flames as the Serbian perimeter defence fell asleep.
They made six shots from behind the three-point line in a devastating six minute spell which left Serbia stunned and 54-47 behind.
But Serbia were not finished and came back to set up a nerve-tingling conclusion as Italy dried up just as spectacularly as their offensive splurge minutes earlier.
They could not score in over six minutes and consequently Sanja Mandic got Serbia to within a point inside the last 60 seconds, but then missed the chance to tie with a free-throw.
Sofia Marangoni then made one-of-two from the line for the Italians, which gave Serbia the ball for the last possession with seven seconds remaining.
They had an opportunity to force overtime or take a win, but they turned it over and Italy were left to celebrate a fine success.
Dragana Stankovic was exceptional for Serbia once again, accruing 22 points and 12 rebounds.