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Newz Forum: OLYMPICS: Serbia-Montenegro needs help after 76-68 loss to Spain

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posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 03:06 PM
ATHENS, Greece -- The world champions are in big trouble at the Olympics.

Spain clinched first place in its group with a 76-68 victory Saturday, leaving Serbia-Montenegro in danger of failing to reach the quarterfinals.

Serbia-Montenegro, which won the 2002 World Championships as Yugoslavia, fell to 1-3 and must beat China in its final preliminary round game Monday, then have some other results fall in its favor, to advance.

Spain (4-0) has New Zealand in its final game, but even a loss Monday won't keep it from winning Group A.

"Winning has been great," Spain guard Juan Carlos Navarro said. "We are not afraid of anyone. Of course, we respect all of them, but we are not afraid."

The eight-point loss was a bigger margin than that of Serbia-Montenegro's three other games combined. Argentina beat Serbia-Montenegro by one at the buzzer on a spectacular shot by Manu Ginobili. The lone win was by two over Italy, which had a shot in the air at the buzzer. And the three-point loss to New Zealand came on a disputed call with 20 seconds to go and Serbia-Montenegro still had a chance to tie as the game ended.

"We don't have time for analysis," Serbia-Montenegro Zeljko Obradovic said when asked what's wrong with his team. "In no game were we dominated. We had a chance to win all three games we lost and we could have lost the game we won. These are good teams in this tournament. Today, we lost because of turnovers."

Jose Manuel Calderon had 15 points for Spain, including going 6-for-6 from the free throw line over the final 24 seconds. Pau Gasol, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, had all 14 of his points in the second half of a very physical game that featured a couple of confrontations after hard fouls.

Dejan Bodiroga had 14 points for Serbia-Montenegro, which had 14 turnovers, nine in the second half.

"If we won we wouldn't have to depend on other teams," Serbia-Montenegro forward Predrag Drobnjak said. "We played rough and tough but made mistakes we shouldn't have. Hopefully, we can go on."

Vule Avdalovic banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 6:21 to play to make it 57-57, the game's final tie. Carlos Jimenez's three-point play with 5:17 left gave Spain the lead for good.

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