Bogdanovic steers Serbia into EuroBasket final
Russia's Aleksei Shved won the individual shoot-out up against Bogdan Bogdanovic on Friday, but it was the Sacramento Kings' point guard and his Serbia team who progressed to the final of the EuroBasket thanks to an 87-79 victory in Istanbul.
Khimki's Shved had 33 points and five assists to surpass Bogandovic's 24 points and four assists, but the latter managed one more rebound and two more steals, the pair dominating the scoring in the semi-final at Sinan Erdem Arena.
Of Bogdanovic's haul, 13 points arrived in a first half that saw Serbia mount a 14-0 scoring run, doing considerable damage to Russia's hopes.
And although Shved's team rallied to orchestrate an 11-0 streak of their own in the third period, they proved unable to repeat their narrow group-stage victory over the same opponents.
Bogdanovic and Shved were central figures right up until the close, the Serbia star notching five points in the final two minutes to afford his team some breathing space.
And while Russia's main threat replied with a three-pointer in the last 60 seconds, it was not enough to prevent Serbia – silver medallists at the Olympic Games in Rio last year – booking a decider against Slovenia on Sunday.
They may be without point guard Stefan Jovic, though, who suffered a leg injury in the third period.
"He yelled and screamed. Then he celebrated our win. Jovic has a big heart," Serbia coach Alexsandar Djordjevic said.
"We have to think about the next opponent in Slovenia. They are the absolute favourites."