Serbia is the leading nation in U18 European Basketball. The team clinched gold at the U18 European Championships in Slovakia on Sunday after a week of tournament action. Victory hands Serbia its fourth U18 title, four behind winningest country Russia (8). However, if we count the former Yugoslavia, Serbia now becomes the winningest nation with nine titles in its history.
The U18 European Championships will descend on Latvia in a year’s time, where the Serbian youngsters will have the chance to defend their crown. On Sunday, the team defeated Spain 62-74 to claim the gold.
Spain vs. Serbia, 62-74
Spain had already defeated Serbia in the group stage, but was unable to reproduce the performance in the title contest. However, the Spanish looked on course through the first quarter, taking an 18-11 advantage in the first quarter. In the second frame, Serbia started to fight back and used a 11-17 run to cut the deficit. Through the long break, the scoreboard read 29-28 in favour of Spain.
But Serbia had the momentum, and made it count in the third act. After the halftime rest, Serbia worked the bucket more often and used a 11-21 run to make it 40-49 through thirty minutes. Spain looked out of the contest, and fell again in the fourth period as Serbia extended to victory.
Nikola Miskovic paced the winners with 23 points, while Marko Pecarski claimed a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. For his efforts, Miskovic was awarded the MVP award.
Sergio Martinez topped Spain with 23 points and 7 rebounds.