Follow FIBA on Facebook
Serbia shake off group stage struggles, down Greece to reach last eight
MADRID (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Serbia shook off a disappointing group stage to book their spot in the Quarter-Finals of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a hard-fought 90-72 victory over previously undefeated Greece.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way for the Serbs with 21 points as five players scored in double figures. Miroslav Raduljica added 16, Milos Teodosic had 13, Nikola Kalinic stepped up big with all 12 of his points coming in the first half and
Nenad Krstic finished with 10.
Greece, who went 5-0 in Sevilla's Group B, suffered their first defeat despite 14 points from Nick Calathes and a dozen each from Nikos Zisis and Georgios Printezis.
Kalinic came out hot with eight points - almost double his averaged out-put before the game - in helping Serbia open the biggest lead of the first quarter, 15-10.
Greece, who got eight points from Printezis, tied the game five times in the first quarter but were never able to take the lead, trailing 23-20 after 10 minutes.
The Serbs once had the lead back up to five points at 35-30 before the Greeks came back to take their first and only lead of the game as Zisis connected from beyond the arc to make it 42-41 with a minute left in the first half. But Kalinic threw down a second monster dunk and completed a three-point play in the first half just before the break, sending the Serbs into the locker room up 46-42.
Serbia continued to battle and held Greece to just 13 points in the third quarter, their lowest-scoring period in the tournament. The Serbs pushed the lead to 11 and led 64-55 after three quarters.
Greece couldn't find the answers to the tough Serbian defense and never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.