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Serbia Once Again Suffers Stunning Loss

August 20, 2004|From Associated Press

A disputed call with 20 seconds left figured prominently in another stunning loss for reigning world champion Serbia and Montenegro.

New Zealand rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final five minutes to beat Serbia and Montenegro, 90-87, Thursday, giving the loser a precarious path to the quarterfinals.

Dillon Boucher's layup with 20 seconds left brought New Zealand (1-2) to within one point. As Serbia and Montenegro was inbounding the ball, New Zealand's Mark Dickel wrapped his arms around Milos Vujanic to draw the foul and stop the clock.

Instead, an offensive foul was called on Vujanic, and Sean Marks dunked on the resulting inbounds play to give New Zealand an 88-87 lead.

Vujanic missed a three-point attempt with five seconds left. Dickel made two free throws with 3.7 seconds left, and Dejan Bodiroga's three-point attempt at the buzzer was short.

All three of Serbia and Montenegro's games have been decided at the buzzer, including an opening loss to Argentina on Manu Ginobili's buzzer-beating shot.

Serbia and Montenegro Coach Zeljko Obradovic followed officials Jorge Vazquez of Puerto Rico and Phillippe Leemann of Switzerland off the court.

Serbia and Montenegro dropped to 1-2.

In other games, Spain clinched a berth in the quarterfinals with a 71-63 victory over Italy; Puerto Rico held off Angola, 83-80; Argentina defeated Yao Ming and China, 82-57, and Lithuania (3-0) clinched a quarterfinal berth with a 98-76 victory over Greece.

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