EuroBasket: Croatia to face Lithuania in semi-finals, Spain to take on France
Last Updated: 19/09/13 11:12pm
Dario Saric (C) and his Croatia team-mates celebrate victory over Ukraine
Croatia reached the EuroBasket semi-finals for the first-time in 18 years after recording an 84-72 victory over Ukraine in Ljubljana.
The Group F winners will face Lithuania in the last four after they edged out Italy 81-77 in the final quarter-final.
The other semi-final will see France face two-time defending champions Spain after both teams won their last-eight clashes on Wednesday.
Krunoslav Simon led all scorers for Croatia with 23 points, while American-born point guard Dontaye Draper came up with two steals and six points in a crucial 13-0 run at the start of the second quarter.
Since being thrashed 68-40 by Spain in their opening game of the tournament, Croatia have won eight straight matches.
"It's a long time since we've been in the semi-finals. That was the first target for this young, talented generation but this story is too beautiful to stop here," coach Jasmin Repesa said.
"Honestly, we expected to be in the semis, we have quality and a system."
Draper added: "I looked at my teammates and I heard them say, 'Ajde', and I just tried to get some energy, to get something going, even a foul, anything,"
Meanwhile, Lithuania went on a 15-0 run at the start of the final quarter to set up their victory against Italy.