|14 July 2011|
U20 European Championship
The reigning champions of the U20 European Championship, Serbia, opened their 2011 campaign with a 72-62 win over Russia in Group A.
Serbia tied their record with Montenegro on top of the group with a 1-0 record while Russia fell to 0-1 just like Slovenia.
Nemanja Jaramaz led Serbia with 15 points, Nemanja Nedovic added 13, Nikola Kalinic scored 12 and grabbed 7 rebounds while Danilo Andjusic finished with 11.
Ivan Strebkov had 13 points for Russia while Artem Gorlanov finished 11 points.
Tomorrow the two winners will take on each other as Serbia will face Montenegro in a "derby", while either Russia or Slovenia will get their first win at the first game of Day 2.
"The first game obviously is very important," said Aleksandar Djikic, head coach of Serbia.
"We wanted to have a good start, and got this win so I'm happy. The pressure of the champs as on our side, but now we got it out of the way and we can play more freely from now on, and try to get another win tomorrow."
Russia's engine worked better at the start with the first 7 points of the night, while it took Serbia more than 3 minutes to get on the board.
Nedovic was the big fire powder and with 9 first quarter points set the first quarter score on 18-17 in favor of his side.
Jaramaz collected points from the arc, and Nikola Kalinic scored 5 in a row and Serbia climbed to 30-24 but Pavel Antipov hit from long distance and Gorlanov added another, but still saw Kalinic and Jaramaz make it a 46-36 ride after 20 minutes.
Nedovic with a beautiful jumper pushed the gap to 11, as Serbia maintained their safe lead.
A dunk by Nikita Barinov didn't make a big difference, but when Ivan Strebkov hit a big three pointer it was just a 6 points game, 66-60, with 3:04 on the game clock.
Branislav Djekic was the man with the answers for Serbia with a jumper and a tip-in that pushed it back to a 10 point gap, this time enough to decide the feud.