Serbia got itself the first ticket to the World Championship Quarter Finals phase (where they will be facing Spain) after a dramatic win over Croatia, 73-72 with two free throws by Aleksandar Rasic just one second before the final whistle. Rasic corrected his own mistake which led to Croatia leading 72-71 after losing the ball to Tomas and Kus.
Croatia started off the game in a great fashion leading 12-9 and defying everyone who predicted an easy win for Serbia who started off the game with a 5-0 run. Ukic was leading his team and the first quarter ended with Croatia leading 27-19, despite Krstic’ efforts to keep Serbia close.
In the second quarter Ivkovic replaced Teodosic with Tepic who quickly scored two points and handed out two assists, something which led to Serbia tying the game at 29-29, mainly due to their great defence which allowed Croatia to score just one bucket in the first five minutes of the quarter. Nontheless Croatia had the answer ready and with a quick 5-0 regained the lead, 34-29. Final score of half time was 36-34 for Croatia who were hanging to their lead.
Serbia took the lead in the second half thanks to a threepointer by Rasic, who is having the tournament of his life so far. The two teams kept exchanging the lead until Teodosic scored his first points with another threepointer for Serbia. As a result the quarter ended with Serbia leading 54-50.
At the fourth and last quarter of the game, Rasic scored an and 1 giving Serbia its largest margin so far, 61-54. Croatia held in there mainly due to Popovic who scored a threepointer to make the score 65-61. Just a minute to go and Croatia cut the difference even further, 67-65. As that was not enough Popovic continued his streak and made the score 68-67 with just twenty four seconds to go.
At that point and as aforementioned Rasic lost the ball and Popovic scored one of the two free throws to tie the game at 70-70. Rasic corrected his prior turnover and with a coast to coast layup made it 72-70. Popovic scored two free throws to tie the game. Then Rasic went for another coast to coast but was fouled just before reaching the basket, with one second remaining. The player made the first free throw and missed on purpose in the second attempt and that was the end of it.
Score by quarters: 19-27, 34-36, 54-50, 73-72
Serbia: Krstic 16, Rasic 15, Perovic 10, Macvan 8, Velickovic 7, Keselj 5, Teodosic 3 (4 to, 4 stl), Bjelica 3, Tepic 2 (7 rbs), Paunic 2, Markovic 2, Savanovic
Croatia: Popovic 21 (5 ass), Ukic 11 (4 ass), Banic 10 (7 rbs), Bogdanovic 9, Loncar 9, Tomas 6, Tomic 6 (8 rbs, 5 to), Kus,