Various European national teams are ramping up their preparations for Eurobasket 2015 and have been playing friendly games to get ready. Most recently, an undermanned Serbia squad took down their Russian counterparts in a dominant, 75-56 win. The victory gave Serbia some much needed momentum after suffering a loss at the hands of France on Friday. They made the most of the talent they had, missing key players in Miroslav Raduljca, Milos Teodosic, and Zoran Erceg; all of whom were held out of the game either to receive rest or treatment.
Despite missing some key players, Serbia looked sharp and played to their strengths. They are a very deep team and that depth was on full display in this encounter. They surged to an early 19-14 lead in the first quarter and managed to maintain control of the game from that point. Both teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the halftime break with Serbia leading Russia, 42-28. Russia was able to put up a run in the fourth period, but it was too little and too late. Serbia held on to notch the victory.
Nemanja Bjelica took charge and paced Serbia with 16 points, five rebounds and eight assists. Nemanja Nedovic added 16 points as well. Nikita Kurbanov played well for the Russian club, chipping in a double-double performance with 13 points and 10 rebounds to his name.
Serbian coach Sasha Djordjevic had these words to say after the game.
“I am most pleased with our team defence, which gave us the win.
“We were able to correct some mistakes we had made in the game with France.
“There are several details on which we still need to work and things we need to improve, but this was a very positive step.”