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Serbia sets up KO battle against Italy for Olympic berth with rout of Puerto Rico

Filip Petrusev imposes his will with a dunk. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—An all-European battle for a Tokyo Olympic berth has been set up in Belgrade as Serbia romped Puerto Rico, 102-84, in the second semifinal of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in the Serbian capital on Saturday night.

A 23-14 second quarter set the tone for Serbia as it held off a gritty stand from a Puerto Rico side looking to deny its opponent from locking in a spot in the Olympics at home as early as the Final 4 round.

Puerto Rico eventually lost steam in the end as Serbia broke loose in the last four minutes of the match.

Vasilije Micic made 21 points, one rebound, eight assists, and one steal to lead Serbia, which will face Italy, 79-59 winner over Dominican Republic in the first game, on Sunday for one of the remaining four spots in the Olympic men's basketball event.

Nemanja Bjelica added 18 points, seven rebounds, one assist, and two steals.

Milos Teodosic got a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists alongside one rebound.

Isaiah Pineiro tallied 23 markers, four boards, two dimes, and one swipe, while George Conditt made 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, and one block for Puerto Rico.

Gary Browne had his own point-assist double-double with 12 markers and 10 dimes alongside five caroms, and two interceptions, but he was accounted too for six of Puerto Rico's 18 turnovers all game long.

Box Scores:

Serbia 102-Micic 21, Bjelica 18, Petrusev 15, Andjusic 15, Teodosic 11, Avramovic 6, Dobric 5, Marjanovic 5, Milosavljevic 4, Davidovac 2

Puerto Rico 84-Pineiro 23, Conditt 20, Clavell 17, Browne 12, Gandia 3, Andujar 3, Ortiz 3, Diaz 0, Sosa 0

Quarterscores: 28-26, 51-40, 79-68, 102-84

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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