Luburic, Kovacevic pace Serbia to 3-1 win over Tunisia as Bongui top-scores with 27 points


Bari, Italy, September 15, 2018 – On Saturday afternoon, Serbia raised to the occasion and claimed a 3-1 victory (20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20) against Tunisia, thus putting a bit of pressure on Russia and USA, who were due to play the second match of the day in Pool C. Among the players led by head coach Nikola Grbic, Drazen Luburic and Uros Kovacevic stood out with 16 and 14 points respectively, as Marko Ivovic (11), Srecko Lisinac (9) and Marko Podrascanin (8) contributed to the victory as well. The most prolific player for Tunisia was opposite Ali Bongui, who registered an impressive tally of 27 points.

The matchup between Tunisia and Serbia opened the programme of the fourth day of competition at PalaFlorio in Bari. The teams took to the court with different feelings: Aleksandar Atanasijevic and his teammates aiming to go for the top spots in Pool C, while their African rivals were sitting at the bottom of the tables.

Coach Grbic changed his line-up for the third time in the tournament: at the beginning of the match, Uros Kovacevic was the only usual starter to take to the court. Tunisia opted for Khaled Ben Slimene and Ali Bongui. The young opposite helped the underdogs set the pace for most of the opening set. After a timeout taken by Serbia when trailing at 18-22, their main setter Nikola Jovovic took to the court as well, but Tunisia sealed a 25-20 victory in the first set.

After this setback, besides Jovovic, Serbia decided to resort to Podrascanin, Lisinac and Ivovic, and this move changed the course of the game. After claiming a 25-20 victory in the second set, the Balkan team edged their opponents in the third set as well (25-21) and finished it all off in the fourth one (25-20) to celebrate their second victory in three matches they have contested this far. Serbia lost to USA 2-3 before claiming victories over Cameroon (3-0) and the still winless Tunisia.