Bogdan Bogdanovic played a leading role as Serbia defeated Russia 87-79 in Istanbul tonight to earn a place in the EuroBasket final against Slovenia, who had beaten Spain last night.
Russia had the psychological edge in this battle of basketball superpowers having inflicted Serbia’s only defeat of these 40th Championships, by just three points.
Bogdanovic helped ensure that counted for nothing as he scored 24 points, including a crucial run of five in a row at a critical point in the game.
Serbia led for most of the game thanks to a 14-0 run in the second quarter.
Russia got to within two points of their rivals midway through the fourth, only for Aleksei Shved - who finished as top scorer with 33 points - to miss a wide open deep three that would have given his team the lead.
Immediately, Vasilje Micic connected from deep at the other end, giving decisive momentum to Serbia.
Boban Marjanovic contributed 18 points, with 13 coming before the break, and Vladimir Lucic added a further 13 as Serbia ensured they will win their first EuroBasket medal in eight years.
Shved tried everything he knew, scoring more than 20 points for an eighth consecutive game.
It was still not enough to prevent the Serbians moving through to the final on Sunday (September 17).
Russia now due to contest the bronze medal with the tournament favourites Spain in a match that will proceed the final.