Serbia beats Dominican Republic in basketball Olympic qualification opener

BELGRADE, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Serbia routed the Dominican Republic 94-76 in the first game of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade on Tuesday.

The Group A game was played in front of fans at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall.

The home team made a powerful start and built a 31-23 lead in the first quarter thanks to points from Boban Marjanovic and Nemanja Bjelica.

However, the guests closed the 8-point gap in the second quarter at 39-39, before the two teams left the court even at 47-47 at halftime.

Neither of the two teams managed to separate until the fourth quarter when Vasilije Micic and Milos Teodosic executed 3-pointers.

Boban Marjanovic who scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds was the most efficient on the Serbian team, while Michael Torres Cuevas excelled in the guest team with 16 points and 5 assists.

Five teams participate in the tournament held from June 19 to July 4, with the winner qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In Wednesday's game of Group A, Serbia will face the Philippines, while the Dominican Republic rests.

Senegal previously withdrew from competing in Group B, leaving Italy and Puerto Rico as sole competitors for the semifinals of the tournament in Belgrade.

There are three other qualifying tournaments taking place this week: in Victoria, Canada; Split, Croatia; and Kaunas, Lithuania. Only the final winner in each qualifying tournament will qualify for the July 23-Aug. 8 Tokyo Olympics. Enditem

[ Editor: SRQ ]