Serbia- Georgia 90:94 (28:18, 20:23, 19:24, 23:29)

In the second game of the first “window” for the FIBA qualifiers for the Euro Cup 2021, in a beautiful basketball ambient in front of around 6000 fans in Belgrade’s sports hall “Aleksandar Nikolic”, national team of Serbia has been defeated by national team of Georgia – 90:94.
Our national team started the game off really strong and after a three pointer from Jaramaz 7:0 in less than two minutes, and in the fifth minute the score was 15:4. The lead kept increasing for our team (24:10, 9th minute), on to the first break the team led by the head coach Igor Kokoskov went with +10 lead, 28:18.
Georgia resisted at the beginning of the second quarter, with a mini run 5:0, and cut the lead down to +5, 28:23. Our team kept the lead in this quarter between 5 and 9 point lead, so after a three pointer from Avramovic our team would once again have the double digit lead, 41:30 in the 17th minute. Georgia managed to catch up once again thanks to McFadden and cut the lead down to 45:41 in the 20th minute, but after a three pointer from Rebic our team went on to the big break with +7 lead, 48:41.
Third quarter started in the same rhythm, with fast plays. Todorovic made a three pointer, McFadden answered on the other side, so in the 25th minute national team of Georgia cut the lead down to only +3, 50:53. Serbia prepared an answer after a time out from Kokoskov, Avramovic scored, which was followed up with a dunk from Simonovic, but the national team of Georgia did not give up and they cut the lead to only +1 after two minutes, 60:59. At the end of this quarter both teams played really hard, it was played basket for a basket, so our national team went on to the final break with +2 on the score board, 67:65.
Our team opened the last quarter with a dunk from Kravica. But, for the first time in the game, Georgia tied the game up thanks to Shermadini (69:69, 32nd minute), and then got the lead in the 33rd minute 72:71. After two made free throws by McFadden it was 74:72, but Karvic and Simonovic from the free throw line, and Avramovic with the three pointers got the lead back for Serbia 81:76 in the 36th minute. Anyway, McFadden tied the game up with a three pointer, but Jaramaz answered back, which was followed up with a dunk from Avramovic for 86:81. But Sanadze brought his team back in to the game with a three pointer(86:84), but Avramovic made two free throws and got the +4 lead for Serbia, 88:84 two minutes before the end. National team of Georgia made a three pointer and made a two pointer, and that way got the lead back 89:88 with a minute left. Raduljica answered back with an “and one” play, but he missed a free throw (90:89), McFadden made another three pointer and got the lead back for his team with 26 seconds left on the clock, 90:92. Our team had an offense for a win or to force overtime, but Zagorac missed, Jaramaz fouled McFadden who made both his free throws and the score was 94:90. Velickovic tried for three on the other side, but he did not make it either, so Georgia successfully surprised everyone with this win.

Aleksa Avramovic, Serbian national player:
“We prepared for this game just as we did for one against Finland, to play with a lot of energy on defense, with a good offense. We did not have that energy that pushed us against Finland, Georgia played really well. We knew they had one of the best shooters in the Spanish league, McFadden, and one of the best players in the Spanish league, Shermadini. We had a lot of mistakes on the defensive side…”

Igor Kokoskov, head coach of Serbia:
“Before anything else, I would like to thank to the fans who came to support their team, national team of Serbia. We tried our hardest to make them proud, but sometimes in basketball things go differently than planned. Also I want to congratulate the national team of Georgia, you can see that they are constant, they have the same head coach for last 5 years, and they have a system that they got used to. We opened the game really good, there was energy… Nobody came just to show up, we wanted to win, our players tried hard, and there was energy… I truly believe that the players play the games, and the coaches lose them. Whenever you lose you ask yourself what went wrong. A lot of mistakes, we tried a lot of new things, how we are going to run on the fast breaks, new terminology, the players come from different systems… In this game you could clearly see that the team from Georgia knows themselves better than we know ourselves. They played better and we should congratulate them. We take care of the national team, we care, and it hurts when you lose at home, but we should look at the bigger picture. We saw some young players we wanted to see, the older ones were here to lead… I want to thank the players who found time to come out here and play for me.”
Before the start of the game Predrag Danilovic, the President of BFS, has handed in a framed jersey to Miroslav Raduljica for his 100th game for the national team of Serbia. Raduljica played his 100th game on the World cup in China this summer, the game was against Angola.

At the half time of the game, Zlatko Bolic, Secretary General of BFS, has handed in a gift to a respected retired basketball referee Milija Vojinovic.
Our national team in the game against Georgia was supported by Predrag Danilovic (President of BFS), Zlatko Bolic (Secretary General of BFS), Ana Jokovic (Vice -president for the women’s basketball in BFS), Igor Rakocevic (Vice president for man’s basketball in BFS), Dusan Projovic (Vice president for the competitions in BFS), as well as legendary head coach of the national team Dusan Ivkovic.