Milos Teodosic likely left the Sinan Erdem Dome with sore lips.
After the Serbian guard hit a straightaway 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left for a 92-89 win over defending champion Spain at the World Championship, he got kisses from every team official who could get close enough. That's the custom in his homeland.
The win sends Serbia into the semifinals Saturday against the winner of a later game between Turkey and Slovania. And it will send Spain, which still will play to try to finish fifth, home without a medal after it had won gold at the 2006 Worlds and silver at the 2008 Olympics.
"It's hard to say what I was thinking about,"' Teodosic (pictured above) said about hitting the dramatic shot. "But it was a team win. My shot would not have happened had we not played so well."
Teodosic actually didn't play that well until his final shot. He was just 1-of-7 from 3-point range while his teammates had combined to go 13-of -22. The shot by Teodosic, who had 12 points, allowed Serbia to finish 15-of-30.
"The last shot was literally from downtown," said Spain coach Sergio Scariolo.
The Spanish had fought back after being down 86-78. A dunk by center Marc Gasol tied the score 89-89 with 25.8 seconds left.
But the Spanish had their hearts broken by Scariolo's long bomb, resulting in Sergio Llull kicking the ball into the stands. Meanwhile, Serbia's players were kicking up their heels to dance.
"I am so very happy," said Serbia forward Dusko Savanovic, who had 15 points, just behind team-high leaders Marko Kselj and Novica Velickovic, who had 17. "We're getting better every day."
The former Yugoslavia actually has more Worlds medals than any country, the last coming in 2002 when the nation had already broken apart and was about to change its name to Serbia and Montenegro.
Serbia has slipped in recent years while rebuilding with a younger team. But it did make it to the final of the European Championship last September before being walloped 85-63 by Spain.
"It's really good just to see where we are since Sept. 20," said Serbia coach Dusa Ivkovic, knowing well the exact date of that wipeout to Spain in Poland.
Spain entered the tournament as one of the favorites along with Team USA. The Spanish dropped two of their first three games but thought they had corrected matters by winning three straight, including a big win Saturday over Greece.
Not so fast.
"It's a very tough moment for us," said guard Juan Carlos Navarro, who led Spain with 27 points. "We were not able to stop their long shots."
What happened on the perimeter might not have mattered if Spain had its dominant inside presence in Pau Gasol. But the Lakers big man, after playing key roles in Spain's 2006, 2008 and 2009 tournament runs, elected not to play this summer.
"Right now, I don't want to talk about Pau," Scariolo said. "I don't want to disrespect the players who played (in Turkey). It's not fair to talk about Pau."
The talk, though, already has started in Spain about its World Championship failing. And the partying has started in Serbia, which is close to medaling again in the event after finishing ninth in 2006.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson