Serbia prevailed over Greece 80-85 (OT) in a sold-out FIBA World Cup preparation tournament held in Acropolis, Greece over the weekend.
The Serbian National Team looked sharp in this series of tuneup games, going 3-0 in this mini-tournament. Bogdan Bogdanovic dropped a game-high 28 points to lead his team to victory. Nemanja Bjelica was also impressive, posting an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double. It is also noteworthy to point out that the Serbian squad was without Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who as back in Belgrade for rest.
This was an interesting matchup, to say the least, especially considering that both Serbia and Greece are being widely considered as strong contenders in the FIBA World Cup. It also comes as no surprise that the game wound up needing an extra period to settle the score and for one of the teams to finally emerge victorious.
Greece is not to be taken lightly in the upcoming World Cup, this game result notwithstanding. They are a formidable force to be reckoned with. The Antetokounmpo brothers, Giannis and Thanasis led the charge for the Greeks in this one. Giannis scored a team-high 20 points, while Thanasis chipped in 17 points and five 3-pointers. Not to make any excuses or take anything away from Serbia’s well-earned win, but Greece felt the pinch of missing both Kostas Papanikolaou and Ioannis Papapetrou, as well as Kostas Sloukas.
Both Greece and Serbia are favored to end the initial six-game run of the group stage at the top of their groups. Serbia is in Group D along with Angola, Italy and the Philippines. Greece will face slightly stiffer competition in Group F as they battle Brazil, New Zealand and Montenegro.