The FIBA Basketball World Cup semi-finals will include Serbia once more; this will be their third participation in the final four in the previous four competitions.
Serbia defeated Lithuania convincingly 87-68 in their most recent match at the Mall of Asia Arena, with Bogdan Bogdanovic inspiring the team with his exceptional shooting abilities.
Serbia‘s trip to the semi-finals is in line with their prior accomplishments, which include making it to the final in 2014, reaching the semi-finals in 2010, and finishing fifth in China in 2019. However, Lithuania will now concentrate on the Classification Games 5-8.
In terms of shooting, Lithuania had been unstoppable throughout the campaign, with a highlight showing against Greece in the second half when they shot an incredible 12-of-16 from long range.
In addition, they shot 5-of-6 in the first quarter against Serbia and opened their game against the United States with a perfect 9-of-9 three-point shooting streak. They only gained a tiny 25-24 lead after the first 10 minutes, despite their strong shooting.
The Serbian Defense
Serbia’s effective defensive plan was key to their victory in this game. Rokas Jokubaitis and Vaidas Kariniuaskas, two Lithuanian players, experienced nightmares as a result of coach Svetislav Pesic’s high-pressure defensive strategy. They were continuously hounded by Ognjen Dobric and Aleksa Avramovic.
With each fast break point, the Lithuanian fans in the stands grew quieter, while the Serbian supporters behind the bench celebrated with increasing enthusiasm. Bogdan Bogdanovic’s deep three-pointer at the end of the first half, giving Serbia an +11 lead, made it clear which way the game was heading.
A Tougher Road Awaits
Serbia’s victory in the semi-finals not only brings them closer to World Cup glory but also puts them in contention for a guaranteed spot at the Paris 2024 Olympics, should Canada and the United States win their quarter-finals. Serbia now awaits the winner of the Canada versus Slovenia match in the semi-finals.
Unfortunately for Lithuania, their impressive performance against the USA just two days prior seemed to have drained their energy. They struggled from beyond the arc, going 4-of-22 after their promising 5-of-6 start. Despite having four players in double figures, none of them managed to score more than 14 points.
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