Serbia breezed clear of Italy 83-67 to reach the Eurobasket semi-finals for the second straight tournament.
Bogdanovic led the Serbian charge with 22 points and six rebounds and Milan Macvan amassed 13 as they steered away from the Azzuri in the second quarter and dominated overall on the boards (44-19), allowing for more second chance opportunities, which they duly converted.
Italy from there, were never really in it and even though they found offensive power in the shape of Marco Bellinelli’s 18 points, the result always felt like going Serbia’s way.
Despite the final result, the Italians come out the gate faster, and executed their offensive sets more effectively, a three-pointer from Bellinelli with 1:24 remaining in the first handed his side a 16-12 lead only for Serbia to end the opening exchanges on a 6-1 run to lead 18-17.
From there, Serbia found their groove with 7’4″ giant Boban Marjanovic leading the way, pestering and bullying his way to not only score but finding open shooters and cutters for easy baskets. The lead soon grew to double digits with a triple from Macvan with over two minutes left and despite some Italian resistance, the Serbs were firmly in control, leading 44-33.
The half-time break would have hopefully given coach Ettore Messina and the Italians a chance to regroup, but instead, Serbia’s onslaught continued with the lead peaking at 18 points as Sasha Djordevic’s men eased to the last four.