Basketball European Championship: favorite Serbia fell in the European Championship against Italy

Italy's Nicolo Melli scores against Serbia's Nikola Jokic.  Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa

Italy’s Nicolo Melli scores against Serbia’s Nikola Jokic. Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa

Serbia, the number one favorite of NBA superstar Nikola Jokic, was completely unexpectedly eliminated in the 16th round of the European Basketball Championships in Berlin. The 2017 European Championship runners-up had to beat Italy 86:94 (51:45) despite 32 points and 13 rebounds. from the center Jokic gives.

Berlin – NBA superstar Nikola Jokic’s number one favorite, Serbia, was completely unexpectedly knocked out in the round of 16 at the European Basketball Championships in Berlin.

Despite 32 points and 13 rebounds, the 2017 EC runner-up beat center Jokic Italy 86:94 (51:45). In the opening round, Serbia had won five sovereign victories and thus strengthened its position as the biggest contender for the gold.

Trained by Svetislav Pesic, the Serbs were considered deep and versatile. Added to this was the big plus of Jokic, who was voted the NBA’s most valuable player last season. But in the second half, nothing seemed to work against the Italians, who had finished fourth in their opening round. Marco Spissu (22 points) and ex-Bambergian Nicolo Melli (21) helped the outsider win.

Finland, led by the wonderful Lauri Markkanen, had previously reached the quarter-finals of the European Championships for the first time in 55 years. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA professional scored 43 points for his team in the Finns’ surprising 94:86 quarterfinal win over Croatia on Sunday in Berlin. Never before had a Finn scored more points in an international match. Markkanen and Co will now face Spain on Tuesday (17.15).

Ukraine, on the other hand, missed the quarter-finals. The Ukrainians had to admit defeat to Poland in the round of 18, 86:94. Point Guard AJ Slaughter with 24 points secured the victory for the Poles. The Poles will now face the defending champion Slovenian NBA star Luka Doncic on Wednesday (20:30).

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