The story appears on

Page A12

September 9, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Basketball

Serbia throttles Spain in European stunner

SERBIA used a stingy defense to upset world champion Spain 66-57 in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday on the opening day of the European championship.

Looking like one of the formidable Yugoslav teams of old, the young Serbian squad without any National Basketball Association stars thoroughly outplayed a lackluster Spain, clamping down on an attack led by Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol.

"I think tonight my team absolutely deserved this victory," coach Duzan Ivkovic said. "We won with extremely great defense."

The Serbs used a 14-4 run in the last five minutes of the first half to open a 38-23 lead at the break.

After a cold first half, Spain still couldn't find its shooting touch after the break, making just 2-of-19 from behind the arc and 54 percent from the line for the night. Serbia's lead was never less than eight points in the second half.

"They played a very good game, especially on the defensive end," Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. "Our shooting percentages were really low tonight. So offensively we struggled, part due to the good defense of our opponent, and part we missed very, very open shots and free throws."

Gasol, who is coming off minor surgery on his left index finger after injuring it last month, struggled to find his range. The Lakers star shot 4-of-10 from the field, and hit just 1-of-8 free throws to finish with nine points.

Serbia tops Group C along with Slovenia, which beat Britain 72-59 earlier.

Defending champion Russia also won its opener, jumping out to an early lead against Latvia and then holding off a late challenge to win 81-68 behind 24 points from US-born Kelly McCarty.

France joined Russia atop Group B with its 70-65 win over Germany. San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the last 2:38 to carry the French down the stretch.

Germany sorely missed its NBA star, Dirk Nowitzki. The Dallas Mavericks forward led all scorers at the 2007 championships with 24 points per game, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has refused to allow him to play in Poland.

Greece, the 2005 European champion, opened the tournament with an easy 86-54 win over Macedonia in Group A. In the same group Croatia downed Israel 86-79.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 19 points to lead Turkey to an 84-76 upset of Lithuania in Group D, where host Poland beat Bulgaria 90-78.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend