PRAGUE (FIBA U19 World Championship) - The Unites States and Serbia on Sunday will do battle to be crowned champions of the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship after both secured victories in their Semi-Finals – albeit in contrasting fashion.
The Americans, who entered this game having handed the Serbs their only defeat of the tournament - in the Eighth-Final Round - jumped ahead in the first quarter with a 10-0 run for a 17-5 lead. The advantage grew to 14 points and the Americans led 25-16 after one quarter.
After falling behind by 16 points, Lithuania fought back to within 37-24 before Team USA closed the half on a 10-2 surge for a 47-26 cushion.
Lithuania tried to claw their way back into the game but could only pull within 58-41 after which the Americans went on a 10-0 run and closed the third period up 72-44.
However, they would not get any closer the rest of the way and Team USA increased the lead to 44 points in the final period.
Lithuania will face Australia in Sunday's Bronze Medal Game.
While the Americans breezed to their eighth straight victory, Serbia battled it out with the Australians in the first Semi-Final and clinched a hard-fought 63-58 victory to secure their third medal in four tournaments.
Nikola Jankovic poured in 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Serbia, while Vasilje Micic added 13 points, eight assists and four rebounds and Stefan Pot chipped in nine points and six rebounds.
Australia had lost 78-57 to the Serbs in the Preliminary Round.
Dante Exum led the way with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists but went just four of 10 from the free-throw line, including two misses with 14 seconds left and a chance to tie the game.
Australia's 7-0 run to open the game was answered by seven straight Serbia points. The Australians hit the next eight points for a 15-7 lead but Serbia struck back with a 17-3 run over the next eight minutes to take a 24-18 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Serbs were up 32-25 at half-time.
Exum's three-point play cut it to 32-28 before Jankovic took over with 11 straight points - the first nine in a 9-3 run to open a 41-31 lead.
Kalau von Hofe nailed back-to-back triples to get Australia back in the game. And the Aussies cut the deficit to 45-43 before Pot hit just before the buzzer for a 47-43 lead after three quarters.
Both teams picked up their defensive intensity before Mihajlo Andric nailed a big triple midway through the fourth quarter for a 52-46 Serbia lead.
Von Hofe hit two triples in the final 50 seconds - including a turnaround trey from the right wing to make it 59-58. After Micic split two free-throws, Exum missed a pair with 14 seconds to play after having made 12 of 13 from the line in the Quarter-Final win over Spain.
Micic knocked down two foul shots with 11 seconds left and Exum’s triple attempt went in and out with seven seconds left to secure Serbia's success.
Canada booked their ticket into the fifth-place game with a thrilling 110-100 triple overtime win over China.
Tyler Ennis scored a tournament-high 42 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists, while Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 15 points and nine rebounds for Canada, who once again were playing without star center Trey Lyles.
Ennis and Qi both scored in the final two seconds of regulation before Yuan knotted the game at 85-85 with 21 seconds left in the first extra session.
Shang Gao sent the game into a third overtime by nailing a triple with two seconds left before Marko Pirovic and Rathan-Mayes knocked down back-to-back treys inside the final two minutes to decide the game.