Nikola Jokic, Serbia rally to beat Italy

2022-08-19T20:01:14+00:00 2022-08-19T21:11:01+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

19/Aug/22 20:01

Down 15 points, Serbia comes back to clinch the friendly win versus Italy in Hamburg

By Johnny Askounis/

Serbia was the winner of the first 2022 Supercup Semifinal, edging out Italy, 90-86, Friday.

Back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic was the difference-maker in Hamburg, Germany. His team-high 18 points included the go-ahead bucket with 1:05 left in the exciting prep game. Additional production of ten rebounds and five assists in a 24-minute showing for the Joker. Captain Vladimir Lucic, Anadolu Efes superstar Vasilije Micic, and CSKA’s Nikola Milutinov all contributed 15 points each.

The summer signing of the Utah Jazz Simone Fontecchio packing the game-high 25 points fell short of the win. Former NBA players Nicolo Melli and Nico Mannion followed with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Boston Celtics newcomer Danilo Gallinari (right ankle) was sidelined and will sit out tomorrow’s third-place game as well. The team led by tactician Gianmarco Pozzecco has lost all three friendly contests so far.

Serbia, coached by well-experienced Svetislav Pesic, will play in the final of the 33rd Basketball-Supercup but both Nemanja Bjelica and Nemanja Nedovic will stay on the injury list throughout the two-day tournament. In official action, after hosting Greece and visiting Turkey at the top of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers Group I, it will be the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, and Poland in Prague’s Group D of EuroBasket.

Italy will start Group L of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers against Ukraine and Georgia. Hosting Group C of the 2022 EuroBasket in Milan leads to the fixtures opposite Estonia, Greece, Ukraine, Croatia, and Great Britain in early September.