RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Serbia advanced to the men’s basketball semifinals with an 86-83 win over Croatia on Wednesday night, leaving it one victory from medaling in the Rio Games.
The rival nations share a border and formerly played under the Yugoslavia flag. After dispatching its neighbor in hard-fought, physical game, Serbia plays Australia on Friday.
The Serbs took control in the third quarter with a 34-point period after trailing 38-32 at halftime. Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked down three triples that visibly frustrated the Croatians and finished with 18 points.
The Croatia offense stalled in the quarter as Serbia picked up its energy on both ends.
Things turned in the fourth quarter as Serbia started turning the ball over. Croatia finally got into an offensive rhythm and put together an 18-5 run to trim the lead to one with 3:26 remaining. They never got closer.
Croatia’s Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 28 points.