Israel stun Serbia 83-74 to stay alive for China 2019 FIBA World Cup

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Israel shocked Serbia 83-74 in Tel Aviv on Friday in their qualifiers for next year's FIBA World Cup in China.

In Group L of the European qualifiers, Greece and Germany have already advanced, while Serbia, Georgia and Israel are struggling for the third place which also leads to the finals in China, starting Aug. 31.

Now Serbia - silver medalist of 2014 World Cup - is ahead of Israel in just one point, with three matchdays remaining, including a direct clash between the two on Feb. 24 in Serbia.

In Friday's match, Serbia missed its top five leading players, who are currently busy at the NBA Season, and several Euroleague players - including Bayern Munich's Stefan Jovic and Vladimir Lucic who played Thursday in Tel Aviv against Maccabi Tel Aviv but did not stay for their national team game the next day.

Israel, however, lacked only Omri Casspi of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.

On the winning side, 35-year-old Guy Pnini of the Israeli club Hapoel Holon scored 18 points, while Jake Cohen of Maccabi Tel Aviv added 14.

Tamir Blatt, son of senior coach David Blatt who formerly coached Cleveland Cavaliers and now coaches Olympiakos Pireus of Greece, finished with 10 points and 9 assists.

Dragan Milosavljevic from Unicja Malaga, Spain, was the leading Serb scorer, with 17 points. 

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