Serbia tips off World Cup with comfortable win

2019-08-31T11:10:05+00:00 2019-08-31T14:02:41+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

31/Aug/19 11:10

No problem for Serbia in opening World Cup match against Angola.

By Eurohoops Team/

Serbia faced no issues versus Angola in the opening game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Sasha Djordjevic’s side gained a big lead from the first half and kept on pushing for the 105-59 win at Foshan on Saturday at the first game of Group D.

Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way with 5/7 threes and 24 points including 11 in the first quarter. Nikola Milutinov poured 14 points, Nikola Jokic did not start but also added 14 points.

“We played a great game from the beginning to the end” Milutinov commented on the match. “We were ready both ways, offensively and defensively. That is why we got this easy win.”

The two countries last met in the 2010 FIBA World Cup with the Serbians victorious, 94-44. This time around, they nearly surpassed the 50-point margin.

In any case, the African team was not competitive and forced Yanick Moreira (8pts) to admit sadly: “I am sorry for my language, but we got our ass kicked. When you come to play in the World Cup, you do not want to embarrass your country.”

Nemanja Bjelica was out injured, but the 31-year-old forward of the Sacramento Kings was not needed. Serbia built a double-digit lead from the first quarter quickly securing the “W”. “He is day-to-day. We will see tomorrow how he will respond to today’s practice” Djordjevic noted.

Djordjevic generally split time between available players. However, he managed to fear opposing World Cup national teams trusting a pair of centers simultaneously, in this case though against weak competition.

For Will Voigt’s side, Carlos Morais started hot with 3/3 beyond the arc and ultimately landed a team-high 15 points. Leonel Paulo scored 10 points.

“They had a very good game, shot the ball very well,” Angola’s head coach said afterward. “We did not play consistently enough to compete with them.”

The other Group D affair of the day is between Italy and the Philippines. Serbia will battle the Philippines on Monday and Angola will continue facing the Italians.