|Nikola Jankovic top-scored for Serbia with 23 points, also adding a game-high nine rebounds|
Serbia out-scored Slovenia 23-12 in the final quarter and broke open a tight contest to pick up a 73-61 victory in the first game for both teams at the U20 European Championship on Crete.
Turning Point: Serbian guard Jovan Novak had hardly made an impression up until the last possession of the third quarter, when he sunk a jumper to pull Serbia ahead, 50-49. Novak proceeded with pouring in nine points within the first two minutes of the fourth frame and Serbia built an eight-point cushion, 59-51, which they maintained rather comfortably until the end.
Game Hero: It's hard to argue against the impact that Novak had on the game, as he scored 11 of his 17 points when it most mattered. Serbia also got a solid performance from Nikola Jankovic, who finished with a game-high 23 points on 10-for-15 from the floor and corralled nine rebounds.
Stats Don't Lie: Serbia came up with ten steals, which enabled them to find some joy in transition and they scored ten points in the open floor. Slovenia meanwhile only scored one basket on the fast break.
The Bottom Line: Serbia are the early leaders of Group B and have every reason to be optimistic, while Slovenia are facing a tough task in their effort to bounce back, as they are next playing Spain and Germany.