Team Russia has taken sweet revenge against Serbia for their Eurobasket 2009 quarterfinal loss, beating the friendly Slavs 77-67 to secure a semifinal encounter against France.
Dusan Ivkovic’s men started smoothly 4-0 before the Russians responded with a 12-3 rally. As it later turned out, it was the first and last time the Balkan team led in the game.
The so-far unbeaten Russians claimed the first half 34-27, but let the Serbs approach to within a point during the third quarter. This was all Serbia could manage on the evening, though, as David Blatt’s men increased and then secured their commanding lead in style in the final quarter.
Anrdey Kirilenko was key to Russia’s success, notching a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with six assists and four steals. Victor Khryapa, Andrey Vorontsevich and Aleksey Shved, for their part, all scored in double digits.
Serbian point guard Milos Teodosic had a game-high 20 points, but spoiled his stat sheet with nine turnovers.
Russia will face France in the battle for the Eurobasket final. The other semifinal will see Spain test the tournament’s surprise squad, Macedonia.