Sounds like a festive night in the stands, right?
Well, yes. But also in the press seats.
Serbian journalists celebrated the dramatic 92-89 win at the Sinan Erdem Dome with zest as their nation's team advanced to the semifinals of the World Championship. It hardly went unnoticed.
"It was the worst (he's seen),'' said Jorge Sierra, the Madrid-based editor-in-chief of HoopsHype.com who has attended many international basketball events.
In the U.S., it's an unwritten rule for sports reporters to maintain some journalistic integrity, never cheering in the press box. Actually, sometimes the rule is written, most notably at college football stadiums, where fringe reporters and boosters often are also seated in the press box.
But such rules often go out the window at international sporting events. Earlier in the Worlds knockout round, Greek journalists cheered fervently for their team as it led Spain in the second half. After the Greeks ultimately fell, 80-72, one reporter from the country was crying outside the interview area.
There was no crying Wednesday from the Serbians, whose team next faces Turkey on Saturday. But Milun Nesobic, of Serbia's Sportski Zurnal, at least said he was trying to restrain himself early in the game.
"Normally, I don't cheer,'' Nesobic said. "And was telling my colleagues to calm down because they were cheering from the first minute. ... I was telling them, 'Please, please be quiet. There are Spanish guys here.'''
So much for Nesobic's words. By the second half, he was jumping out of his seat and throwing his arms up as if he were a referee signaling a touchdown. He exchanged a high five with a Serbian journalist in the row in front.
"Of course, I couldn't do it,'' Nesobic said of not cheering. "This is because (the players on the team are so) young, because they're bright and because they're nice guys and because Spain beat them in the European Championship final (85-63 last September) and because it's so dramatic.''
Nesobic's colleague at the Sportski Zurnal was celebrating with equal exuberance.
"Basically, it's not normal,'' said Aleksandar Todorovic, who said he tried to restrain himself during earlier Serbian games in this tournament and said he doesn't cheer during games back home between Serbian teams. "But you cannot just watch this game sitting on the chair and writing. It is impossible. ... Right now, for me I cannot do it. ... When you're following the national team, it's something different, especially when the game is like this and Spain is so (highly ranked).''
Asked if he's concerned he might have bothered some of the Spanish journalists, Todorovic said, "If I offend anybody I can say that I'm sorry.''
Sierra, who covers primarily the NBA rather than the Spanish national team, said some of the Spanish journalists were upset. Not that they have that much of a right to grumble.
"Some of them complained,'' Sierra said. "But they really cannot complain all that much because they're cheering, too. ... There were some runs when (Spanish journalists) got a little excited. But it's nothing compared to Serbia for their team.''
While Sierra said he's never seen sports reporters cheer like the Serbians did Wednesday, he did note some other examples.
"The guys from Israel are pretty bad, too,'' he said. "I was there at the (European) Final Four (in 2008 in Madrid) and they were heavily rooting for Maccabi. ... Argentina's reporters were pretty bad (Tuesday during a 93-89 win over Brazil). There's different standards different places.''
If Greece had beaten Spain Saturday, its reporters might have ended up challenging Serbia's for wildest press-seat antics. One Greek reporter threw her hands in the air in joy after a Greek basket. After Spain made a run late in the game, she buried her head on her keyboard.
Other Greek journalists yelled in excitement for Greek baskets and groaned when Spain scored. It was surprising they weren't waving flags.
"We are rooting for our country, for the national team,'' said a Greek reporter who asked not to be identified. "We just support the team of our country. Don't you cheer for your country?''
American reporters actually don't show much emotion at all during international events, which no doubt comes from their journalism upbringing back home. Jerome Holtzman, a longtime Chicago baseball writer, even once wrote a book entitled, "No Cheering in the Press Box.'
Nesobic said Americans don't need to cheer at these Worlds because the team is "is expected to win the gold.'' But Todorovic wonders if perhaps U.S. media members should cheer more at international events.
"I think, yeah,'' Todorovic said. "I spent six months in America in Atlanta. I know that Americans love their flag, their anthem. They're proud of things. So why not be proud of your national team.''
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson