|Dino Dizdarevic contributed 5 points and 5 rebounds as Germany kept their cool and sealed the win against Serbia|
by Dan Casey
A see-saw battle in Pardubice eventually saw Germany run out 74-68 winners over Serbia.
Ismet Akpinar led the German scoring with 20 points, plus 7 rebounds. David Taylor added 14 points and 3 steals, and Niklas Ney scored 13 points.
For Serbia, Marko Guduric came off the bench to lead the team with 21 points and 6 steals, and Dusan Ristic added 13 points and 9 rebounds.
Coach Harald Stein said after the game, "The team was very focused today, and at the end we hit open shots and executed well. We held a good offensive team to 68 points, so we can be proud of our defense."
The German team started the game well, and Constantin Ebert's lay-up made the score 19-13 at the end of the first quarter.
But Guduric inspired a fightback in the second half, scoring 9 points in a 14-2 run. Serbia held on to the lead until half-time, 34-30.
Germany went on a 13-3 run in the third quarter, and held the Serbian team to just 9 points in the period. Akpinar's jump-shot made the score 48-43 as we headed into the fourth quarter.
Serbia responded with a 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, but Akpinar carried his team through with 12 points in the final period. Ney broke the tie at 64-64 with a strong offensive rebound and put-back, and after a Serbian miss, Akpinar drained a shot-clock beating three-pointer. Taylor then hit a jump-shot with 30 seconds left in the game and Germany held on down the stretch.
Coach Stein said, "I was most proud of the guys' behaviour and hustle. We had to work hard today, and we did a good job."
Both teams will advance to the Qualifying Round, starting on Monday with Germany taking two wins from the Preliminary Round and Serbia one.