2007 Under-19 World Championships: Semifinals
By Marian Reibert
Novi Sad, Serbia
FIBA World Championships Under 19: Semifinals
Official U19 World Championships Site
USA 78 - France 75
[img_assist|nid=3742|title=Deon Thompson - Photo: Fiba.com|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=374]France took on Team USA in the Semifinal and after losing to USA in the classification round France had other plans this time around. PG Antoine Diot and PF Adrien Moerman 17 pts 12 reb. paced the team to a furious start. The first quarter saw USA down by seven and since Nicolas Batum 18 pts. 4 reb. 3 ast. finally found some of his scoring touch it remained this way throughout the rest of the half. No change in the third as France fought off all attempts by Team USA to cut into the lead and when even Vaty managed to contribute some points from the low block, it seemed as if there was a winning sensation in the air. Midway through the fourth with France still up, they got jitters having the only unbeaten team left on the ropes. Bad decisions on offense combined with a sudden dry spell in shooting handed the lead to a surging Team USA by one point with two minutes to go. It was a sewsaw all the way to the end but on a day when Batum had it going for himself, he couldn't deliver the way he's shown in clutch situations in the past. Diot 13 pts. had the chance to tie the game late with a way out of his usuall range threepointer that had a chance but was off and Team USA escaped once again relying mainly on their superior depth and a superb Deon Thompson who had a game high 18pts and 13 reb. and was clutch in the end when it counted.
Serbia 89 - Brazil 74
Serbia took on Brazil in the other Semi. Paced by an outstanding crowd, Serbia raced out to a 11-0 start and was in a groove thereafter, never really being challenged by Brazil in the game. Heavy defense was the key to controlling the Brazilian guards and one Paulao Prestes 31 pts. 15 rebs. just isnt enough to beat Serbia in a game like this. Serbia shot nealy 60% from three point land with again Jeremic being clutch with 4/6 on his way to 21 pts. 6 ass. While Coach Nikolic played 10 players in double digit minutes. Serbia used their legion of big man to bother Paulao as much as possible and you could see this in the end when he finally tired a little. Its the dream final now for Serbia taking on the Team USA.