|Borisa Simanic bounced back in the best possible way following Serbia's quarter-final loss, steering his team past Germany|
Serbia will play Italy for fifth place at the U16 European Championship after outlasting Germany 73-68 in their classification game Riga on Saturday.
Turning Point: Germany were leading 50-46 with 3:33 to play in the third quarter when Isaiah Hartenstein went over on his left ankle. The forward, who had 12 points and six rebounds, left the game and would not return. This allowed the already impressive Borisa Simanic yet more freedom to work in the paint and Serbia were soon in front before pulling away for victory. Germany clawed back within two points in the closing stages but Aleksandar Aranitovic kept his cool from the free-throw line to seal victory.
Game Hero: Simanic's impact on Thursday's quarter-final against Spain was minimal and he appeared disconsolate afterwards. But he channeled that disappointment into this performance and played well in all facets of the game finishing with 27 points, seven rebounds and three blocks as he outmaneuvered Germany's front line.
Stats Don't Lie: The only area in which Serbia held a significant statistical advantage was their points in the paint, where they outscored Germany 36-30, in no small part down to the work of Simanic.
The Bottom Line: Fifth place is certainly not what Serbia hoped to be playing for on the final day of this competition but they responded well to their defeat to Spain and can at least end on a high. Germany will play Bosnia and Herzegovina for seventh spot, but could be without star man Hartenstein.