Hosts Turkey make it through to the tournament’s decider for the first time and are assured of taking their first ever medal in the event.
Down 82-81 with 4.3 seconds to play, Bogdan Tanjevic’s men inbounded the ball to Hedo Turkoglu, who lost control on the left wing, but Tunceri got to the ball first and was a step ahead of the defenders as he drove hard to the hole for the biggest basket of his career.
Serbia had 0.5 seconds left and opted for a lob to Novica Velickovic, but his attempt was deflected as time ran out.
The defeat means Dusan Ivkovic’s team will go up against Lithuania in the Bronze Medal game.
Tunceri was clutch in the fourth quarter. With Turkey down 75-71 and a little over four minutes left to play, he scored five consecutive points to edge them in front and make a game of it.
The point guard drove to the basket and then buried a three-pointer on the next trip down the floor.
A free-throw shooting contest then ensued.
Omer Onan made a pair to stretch the hosts’ lead to 78-75, but Serbia got within 78-77 as Dusko Savanovic sank two of his own with 1:37 left to play.
Milos Teodosic then fouled Omer Asik hard and the big man left the game holding his face, seemingly getting swiped around his right eye area. Ender Arslan was subbed in for him and took the free-throws in his place, hitting one of two for 79-77 with 1:17.
Krstic split a pair from the charity stripe just inside the final minute. Marko Keselj was fouled with 28 seconds to go when he skied high for a rebound off a Teodosic miss and sank both foul shots to edge Serbia back in front 80-79.
Tunceri ran down the clock and drove the lane, sucking in the defense before feeding Semih Erden for a dunk and a foul with 16.8 seconds to go.
The big man missed the free-throw and at the other end Aleksandar Rasic passed it to Novica Velickovic for a lay-up and an 82-81 lead with 4.3 seconds to go.
That though proved to be enough time for Turkey to perform one last miracle.
The game was close for the most part but Serbia were in the ascendancy until Tunceri went on his mini run.
Serbia were up 15-8 on Novica Velickovic’s three-pointer before Turkey ran off seven straight points to tie it at 15.
Teodosic took over at the end of the first quarter to give Serbia a 20-17 lead.
Sinan Guler converted a three-point play that cut the deficit to 26-25 early in the second period before Savanovic went on a personal 7-0 run to push Serbia’s advantage to 33-25.
It was 35-31 when Arslan buried a three-pointer, but Keselj then sank one of his own for 38-31.
Nenad Krstic and Keselj made it a 42-35 score as the teams headed to the locker room.
Semih Erden converted a three-point play to start the second half and Onan later dialled in from beyond the arc to tie the game at 46.
Teodosic racked up the assists – he finished with 11 – as he fed Aleksandar Rasic for an easy two inside and Keselj for an open three in an 8-0 spurt that pushed Serbia’s advantage to 54-46 midway through the third period.
Arslan connected from long range and Gonlum made a free-throw to cap a 7-0 run that got the hosts within 56-55.
Keselj and Arslan traded long bombs and Gonlum trimmed the deficit to 62-60. However, he then fouled Savanovic who made one of two attempts from the foul line as Serbia went into the final frame up 63-60.
Krstic picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter but stayed in and made a pair of free-throws for a 65-61 advantage.
Turkoglu entered the game as Ilyasova picked his fourth foul and made his presence felt right away as he hit a three-pointer that got Turkey within 66-64.
Teodosic found Keselj for another clutch three-pointer that made it 69-64 with 6:32 to play.
Teodosic buried another long bomb and Kerem Tunceri answered with one of his own at the other end.
Savanovic put his team up 75-69 before Asik scored on a putback and Tunceri then went on his personal 5-0 run to edge Turkey back in front.