• Spain & Serbia qualify for Worlds Quarters
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Sep 05, 2010-

An Alexander Racic free throw with one second remaining saw Serbia fight from behing and knock out Croatia 73-72 to claim the first place in the 2010 FIBA World Championship quarter finals. Spain beat Greece 80-72.

After the Serbs had led by seven in the last quarter, Marko Popovic and Marco Banic led Croatia back from the brink. Popovic hit 8/10 free throws in the final quarter and drew the teams level with 2/2 with 5.9 seconds remaining.

But Rasic dribbled the length of the court and drew a foul on Davor Kus, hitting the first free throw and deliberately missing the second to give Croatia no chance of responding.

For Serbia, Nenad Krstic worked hard for his 16 points, and was well supported by Rasic (15 points) and Kosta Perovic (10 points). For Croatia Popovic was tireless with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Roko Ukic (11 points) and Banic (10 points, 7 rebounds) were strong contributors.

Though Serbia raced to 5-0, it was Croatia who was faster on-court, scoring a number of times in transition.

Serbia levelled scores six minutes into the second quarter, with Perovic having six points, but a hook from Ante Tomic and a three in transition from Popovic restored the Croatian lead.

The third quarter saw both teams trading baskets throughout, with the lead changing hands 12 times. In the last minute Milos Teodosic nailed a triple and fed Milan Macvan for a fast break lay-up Serbia had a 54-50 three quarter time lead.

A crucial play came with just under five minutes to play in the last quarter. After Croatia had missed a number of close shots and tip in opportunities on the one possession Macvan buried a three in transition to establish a 64-57 lead, and then held on in the tightest of finishes.

Serbia head coach: Dusan Ivkovic: "The game was very, very tough. The team played with heart for 40 minutes to beat a very good team in Croatia. I want to congratulate my players. We have reached our competition target. That doesn't mean we are satisfied but to get so far for this young team and have the possibility to play three more games is very good.

"I think we lost this our concentration that we had in our previous games because we had a lot of turnovers, especially in the first quarter, but we had a big desire to win.

"I congratulate Croatia, it was a competitive game."

Results
September 4: Serbia 73 Croatia 72, Spain 80 Greece 72 Fixtures
September 5: Slovania v Australia, Turkey v France
September 6: USA v Angola, Russia v New Zealand
September 7: Lithuania v China, Argentina v Brazil
September 8: Quarter finals

Collated results

Pool A: Australia 76 Jordan 75, Angola 44 Serbia 94, Germany 74 Argentina 78, Jordan 65 Angola 79, Serbia 81 Germany 82, Argentina 74 Australia 72, Jordan 69 Serbia 112, Australia 78 Germany 43, Angola 70 Argentina 91, Serbia 94 Australia 79, Germany 88 Angola 92, Argentina 88 Jordan 79, Angola 55 Australia 76, Argentina 82 Serbia 84, Jordan 73 Germany 91.

Pool B: Tunisia 56 Slovania 80, USA 106 Croatia 78, Iran 65 Brazil 81, Germany 74 Argentina 78, Slovania 77 USA 99, Croatia 75 Iran 54, Brazil 80 Tunisia 65, Slovania 91 Croatia 84, Tunisia 58 Iran 71, USA 70 Brazil 68, Croatia 84 Tunisia 64, Iran 51 USA 88, Brazil 77 Slovania 80, USA 92 Tunisia 57, Slovania 65 Iran 60, Brazil 92 Croatia 74.

Pool C: Greece 89 China 81, Russia 75 Puerto Rico 66, Ivory Coast 47 Turkey 86, China 83 Ivory Coast 73, Puerto Rico 80 Greece 83, Turkey 65 Russia 56, Russia 72 Ivory Coast 66. Puerto Rico 84 China 76, Greece 65 Turkey 76, China 80 Russia 89, Ivory Coast 60 Greece 97, Turkey 79 Puero Rico 77, Puerto Rico 79 Ivory Coast 88, Greece 69 Russia 73, Turkey 87 China 40.

Pool D: New Zealand 79 Lithuania 92, Canada 71 Lebanon 81, France 72 Spain 66, Lithuania 70 Canada 68, Lebanon 59 France 86, Spain 101 New Zealand 84, New Zealand 108 Lebanon 76, France 68 Canada 63, Spain 73 Lithuania 76,  Canada 61 New Zealand 71 Lebanon 57 Spain 91, Lithuania 69 France 55, Spain 89 Canada 67, Lebanon 66 Lithuania 84, New Zealand 82 France 70.

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