|15||M. MACVAN||Did not play|
|4||F. SAN EMETERIO LARA||1||0/0||0||0/0||0||0/0||0||0/0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10||V. CLAVER||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Serbia beat Spain 92-89 to book their place in the semi-finals of the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Milos Teodosic buried a three-pointer from the top of the key with 3.1 seconds left to break an 89-89 tie and Spain could not get off on the next possession.
The win saw Dusan Ivkovic’s side avenge their defeat at the hands of the Spaniards in the final of last year’s EuroBasket in Spain and return to the last four in the FIBA World Championship for the first time since 2002.
Meanwhile the loss means that Spain fail to make it to the semi-final stages of a major international competition for the first time since 2004.
Early on, Serbia rode the hot hand of Nemanja Bjelica and Novica Velickovic – who combined for 21 points – to take a 27-23 lead at the end of the first quarter
Velickovic, who visited with FIBATV.com after the victory, buried two three pointers for an 8-5 lead and Bjelica scored from just about everywhere to push that advantage to 21-13. The Serbians took their only double-digit lead of the game, 23-13, on Velickovic’s floater.
Reigning world champions Spain came back thanks to the scoring punch of Juan Carlos Navarro as he accounted for eight of his team’s last 10 points.
Sergio Llull made a pair of free-throws to get Spain within 29-28 early in the second period but Marko Keselj – who provided a huge offensive boost off the bench – buried a corner three and Teodosic hit a jumper to edge away once again.
Dusko Savanovic made a big three-point play with 4:38 left in the first half for a 37-30 cushion. Jorge Garbajosa connected not once but twice from long range to cut the deficit to 42-38.
Keselj had five of Serbia’s last seven points of the half as they took a 49-41 lead into the locker room.
Spain used a 10-0 run at the start of the second half to take their first lead of the game. Garbajosa hit a pair of free-throws and Rudy Fernandez made all three attempts from the charity stripe after being fouled from beyond the range.
Garbajosa then knocked down a long bomb and Navarro capped the spurt for a 51-49 advantage.
Keselj – who was inserted in Serbia’s starting line-up for the start of the third quarter – edged his team back in front, 52-51, when he connected from beyond the arc and the teams went back and forth as the lead changed 10 times in the period.
Fernandez made good on two foul shots to put Spain up 62-59 but Serbia then accounted for eight of the last 10 points to take a 67-64 lead into the final quarter.
Velickovic beat Spain’s full court pressure for a coast-to-coast lay-up before playing the pick-and-roll with Teodosic to perfection for an easy two that saw Serbia go back in front 63-62 and Savanovic and Krstic had the last four points of the period.
Serbia pulled away early in the fourth period thanks to the firepower provided by super subs Savanovic and Keselj, and the latter’s three-pointer made it 72-64.
Savanovic then took advantage of mismatch against Garbajosa and getting to the basket 74-66.
Spain cut the deficit to 79-76 on a three-point play by Fernandez but Savanovic knocked down another clutch basket, this time from beyond the arc for an 86-78 cushion midway through the quarter.
Garbajosa made a lay-up but missed the free-throw for a three-point play before Gasol hit a high-arching fadeaway over Krstic and Fernandez sliced his way to the basket as the Spaniards ran off six unanswered points to get within 86-84 with two minutes remaining.
Keselj hit double-clutch three-pointer over outstretched arm of Fernandez but Navarro answered with a long bomb of hiw own at the other end.
Navarro faked the three and fed Gasol for a thunderous dunk to tie the score at 89 all with 25.8 seconds left to play.
Teodosic then ran the clock out before hitting the big shot over Garbajosa.
Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia head coach) : “It was a very tough game and the best one in Istanbul so far. Our goal was to see where we are at this moment. We faced Spain last year (in the EuroBasket 2009 final) and we were blown out. But this time we played more aggressive basketball with better shooting. This team is still gaining experience since only one player has FIBA World Championship experience in Kosta Perovic and we have to get ready for the semi-finals.”
Milos Teodosic (Serbia guard) : “I think we played a very good game for 40 minutes. We knew that Spain has a group of great players. We knew that if we could play tough and aggressive we could beat Spain. It’s very difficult to forget this game but we have to do it in order to prepare for the semi-finals in two days.”
Sergio Scariolo (Spain head coach) : “It is the hardest thing to lose a game like this at the final buzzer. Right now it looks tougher but I am very proud of my players. We took bad shots and they ran with the ball and were accurate. We showed some very nice runs and we came back at the end but fell short. The shot by Teodosic was really from downtown and this (Serbia) is a better three-point shooting team than last year.”
Juan Carlos Navarro (Spain guard) : “It is a hard moment for our team, we had a lot of time without playing defense, they continued to hit three-pointers, they were very accurate and in transition we were unable to stop them. We need motivation but I am proud because the team was able to fight until the end.”