Nikola Jokic flexes muscles as Serbia claims second win

2022-09-03T19:22:43+00:00 2022-09-03T20:17:28+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

03/Sep/22 19:22

Fifteen unanswered points to start the second quarter were money in the bank for Serbia

By Eurohoops Team/

Containing Nikola Jokic was an impossible challenge for the Czech Republic. Serbia strolled to the win, 81-68, doubling up in EuroBasket’s Group D Saturday.

Tallying 11 points, the Joker dominated the first period. The team coached by Svetislav Pesic was looking good early but really got things going with a 15-0 sprint to start the second quarter. The 20-point cushion grew even bigger and was reduced to eight points late in the fourth quarter but stood enough for the victory.

“We had great energy in the beginning. But in the third quarter we gave them the chance to come back in the game,” mentioned reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four MVP Vasilije Micic during the postgame press conference, “For us, the most important is to win. If we can win by twenty points, that’s great. But getting the victory is the most important.”

The back-to-back NBA MVP and Denver Nuggets superstar wrapped up his efforts with 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 25 minutes. Anadolu Efes‘ Micic chipped in 13 points and six assists. CSKA center Nikola Milutinov was not available for the second straight game but is expected to join the action in Prague Arena for the remainder of Serbia’s round-robin schedule of the six-team group.

“I think today was good against the hosts, the home team, so we want to keep improving to be ready for the fights in Berlin, the Eighthfinals, Quarterfinals, and so on,” said Nikola Kalinic after a ten-point showing.

“We played good until one moment we got relaxed a little bit, we thought it’s going to be an easy win but they have pride, they wanted to sell their skin expensive and they did. In the end, I think a good game for us.”

The Group D hosts fell to 0-2 and are in trouble with a possible elimination looming. After playing restricted minutes in the opener, Tomas Satoransky sat out Gameday 2. The former NBA point guard and FC Barcelona newcomer has been dealing with an injury to his right ankle.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Vit Krejci went for 13 points, including six in the third period fueling the team coached by Ronen Ginzburg in overcoming offensive struggles and cutting into the deficit but to no avail. Vojtech Hruban shared the team-high 13 points. However, former NBA big man Jan Vesely was held to 0/6 from the field and two points.