Serbia get revenge over Spain, clinch third place in Dubai

Serbia (SRB). Serbia v Spain. 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Day 6, Third Place.

DUBAI (FIBA U17 World Championship) - Serbia prevailed in a battle of European powers, knocking off Spain, 62-59, to take third place at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.

The win also enabled the Serbs to get a  measure of revenge for their loss to Spain in the Final of last summer’s U16 European Championship, the qualifying tournament for the U17 Worlds.

Nikola Rakicevic scored 17 points and Vanja Marinkovic added 14 for Serbia, who finished on the podium for the first time in tournament history.

Ramon Vila collected 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks while Santiago Yusta had 17 points in the loss.

Serbia jumped ahead 7-2 but the game would be tight throughout and Spain led 15-13 after one quarter.

The Spaniards pushed their cushion to six at 21-15 and it remained a low tempo, grind-it-out game which they led 28-22 at the break.

The third quarter saw four lead changes and three ties and Serbia used a 6-0 surge to edge in front 43-42. But Spain went into the final period up 44-43.

The Serbs led 49-48 when Marinkovic nailed two three-pointers and scored eight points in a 10-2 run for a 59-50 advantage.

Spain fought back to get within 61-59 on Vila's three-point play. Nikola Popovic split two free-throws with 10.8 seconds left, but Sergi Costa missed his potential game-tying three-ball with six seconds left.

Meanwhile, in the Classification Games, Puerto Rico beat Canada 65-63 for fifth place, China knocked off France 87-79 for seventh place, while Italy took ninth with a 66-62 win over Argentina, Angola beat Greece 59-51 for 11th place, Egypt grabbed 13th place by beating Japan 68-53 and the Philippines won their first game to claim 15th place with a 115-51 win over tournament hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE).