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2023 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup: France Dominates Serbia to Secure Semifinal Berth with 98-59 Victory

In a highly-anticipated quarterfinal clash at the Fonix Arena in Debrecen, Hungary, France emerged victorious and secured a spot in the semifinals of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup with a dominating 98-59 win over Serbia.

Alexandre Dam Sarr goes for the two handed dunk at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup
Alexandre Dam Sarr goes for the two handed dunk at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup [Credit FIBA]

Led by a stellar performance from Melvin Ajinca, who scored 23 points on an impressive 8-of-11 shooting, France dominated the game from start to finish. The French team showcased their strength and talent, building on their earlier blowout victory against Madagascar in the round of 16.

Serbia, having defeated Korea to secure their place in the quarterfinals, faced a tough challenge against the formidable French squad. The winner of this quarterfinal matchup would earn the opportunity to face the USA in the semifinals.

What Happened?

In the opening quarter, France established a 10-point lead, ending the period with a score of 27-17. Melvin Ajinca led the way for France, displaying his versatility and contributing 10 points.

As the second quarter unfolded, Filip Borovićanin managed to hit a high arching step-back buzzer-beating 3-pointer to momentarily keep pace with France. However, Noah Penda of France responded with a fast-break layup, extending France’s lead to 20 points and prompting Serbia to call a timeout. France continued to dominate the second quarter, with Zacharie Perrin and Lucas Charles delivering impressive blocks and dunks. The first half concluded with France holding a commanding 56-27 advantage, with Perrin contributing 16 points and 8 rebounds.

The third quarter witnessed France’s continued domination, as they extended their lead to 32 points. Dam Sarr’s ferocious hammer dunk on a fast break added to France’s momentum after forcing another turnover by Serbia. Filip Borovicanin and Lazar Djokovic led the scoring for Serbia with 13 points each.

Ultimately, France’s superiority proved insurmountable for Serbia, as they sealed a resounding 98-59 victory. France’s well-rounded performance and Ajinca’s standout display propelled them to the semifinals of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.

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