2014 FIBA World Cup: Serbia through to the finals after beating France 90-85 in the semifinal
Madrid, Sep 13 (IANS) Serbia booked a place in the final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup against the US after defeating France 90-85 in the second semifinal, played in the Palacio de Deportes de Madrid here.
The Serbs Friday night were far more aggressive in defence than the French, who just two days earlier had ended the dreams of hosts Spain in the quarterfinals, producing 10 turnovers in the first two quarters and going on to score a total of 18 points from those turnovers.
Big part of the credit to that was down to point guard, Milos Teodosic who hit three out of four three point throws and four two- point field goals to continue the form he showed against Brazil.
Teodosic was virtually unstoppable for the French and apart from his 18 points in the first 20 minutes, he also gave three assists as the second half ended 46-32 in favour of the Serbs.
That evolved to 61-46 at the end of the third quarter, before five points without reply from the Serbs gave France hope as they drew back to within 10 points of the Serbs at the expense of committing too many personal fouls.
Nevertheless, the Serbs started to suffer from big night nerves and made defensive errors and with five minutes on the clock France moved to within four points, despite having missed various chances.
That was the moment the Serb defence decided the time had come to start pulling down some defensive rebounds as Bogdan Bogdanovic put in a much needed appearance and Teodosic hung in another three-point throw to put Serbia eight points back in front.
Boris Diaw netted another three points for France to pull them to within four points. The French kept firing in three-point throws to stay in the game. They buried nine three pointers in the last quarter.
However, their last attack was stopped when the Serbs claimed the rebound and even though Batun netted a three-point throw with two seconds remaining to give France 39 points in the last quarter and himself 35 points on the night, it was agonisingly short for the French.