Incoming Gonzaga freshman Filip Petrusev, Serbia beat France to reach U18 championship game

Gonzaga’s bench, including redshirt guard Joel Ayayi (left), watch the final seconds tick away against Florida State in a Sweet 16 loss. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Incoming Gonzaga forward Filip Petrusev and Serbia got the better of Zag redshirt freshman Joel Ayayi and France at the FIBA U18 European Championships.

Petrusev had seven points and nine rebounds as Serbia defeated France 78-67 on Saturday in Latvia.

Petrusev, who helped Montverde (Fla.) Academy go undefeated in his senior season, has been impressive in six tournament games. He scored at least 20 points in Serbia’s first five games.

The 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 19.7 points, third highest in the tournament, on 62.2 percent shooting. He is averaging 8.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He had six assists against France.

Petrusev hasn’t attempted a 3-pointer. He’s hit 75 percent of his free throws while averaging 26.8 minutes.

Ayayi has been an effective scorer for France with games of 18, 14, 15 and a 31-point outburst in the round of 16 against Greece. The 6-5 guard struggled against Serbia, making just 2 of 8 shots.

Ayayi is averaging 14.7 points, 15th in the tournament, in 24.8 minutes. He’s made 58 percent of his 2-point attempts, 39 percent of 3-pointers and 90 percent at the free-throw line. He has 11 steals, 15 assists and 19 turnovers.

Serbia and Latvia meet Sunday for the championship. France takes on Russia for third place.