Spain beat Serbia 88-87 in the FIBA U20 European Championship going on in Crete. It was an entertaining, close game. Spain was able to pull it out despite a really strong middle of the third quarter run from Serbia. The third quarter was really a game of runs, the whole game was really. Lots of momentum swings, it would go one way and then the other way.
The refs didn’t let them play, which has been consistent throughout this tournament. There’s really not a lot of contact, there’s not a lot of physical play. Occasionally they’ll let something go, but overall they’re quick with the whistle. That’s been the big difference from what international basketball normally looks like. The whistle tends to favor the offensive player too, much like we see in the NBA.
Overall Spain played a really strong game. They came on slow, Serbia came out strong and showed their cards early. Spain came out with a subtle, relaxed pace and showed their cards as the game went along. Spain forced their pace upon Serbia. The Spanish pace is a high tempo pace. It’s faster, more like an NBA-style pace. Serbia wants to slow the game down and play half court sets.
Spain didn’t show it all at once. They heated the pot, they allowed the pot to get the hottest at the end. Serbia didn’t have enough, they had the pot hot from the get go. Serbia couldn’t sustain, so Spain pulled it out 88-87.
Watch the full Spain-Serbia FIBA U20 Europe game here: