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Nikola Jokic efforts not enough as Italy pulls off incredible upset against Serbia / News

Italy overcame a double-digit deficit and Gianmarco Pozzecco’s ejection to stun Serbia in the EuroBasket Round of 16.

Italy served one of the most surprising results at EuroBasket 2022 by eliminating favorites Serbia with Nikola Jokic in front, 94-86 (20-28, 25-23, 21-17, 28-18).

Player of the Game

EFF

27

Marco Spisu

Points

22

Accuracy

7-11

rebounds

4

assists

6

Italy will meet France with Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier in the EuroBasket quarterfinals.

Italy came back from the second quarter’s 14-point deficit. After Gianmarco Pozzecco’s ejection in the third tally, Marco Spissu started pouring one three-pointer after another. He connected six triples during the second half.

The point guard initiated Italy’s huge 16-2 push that broke the game at the start of the fourth quarter. Italy created a 12-point cushion (82-70) in the mid-fourth tally and had strong control in their hands.

Even though Nikola Jokic tried to rescue Serbia with a 3+1 play heroics, Italy fended off the Serbians’ efforts and secured an upset win, as they were trading buckets with their opponents in a favorable scenario.

Nikola Jokic posted 32 points (6/11 2PT, 2/3 3PT, 14/15 FT), 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and 41 EFF but such an impressive stat line was not enough for the W.

Marco Spissu dropped a team-high 22 points (1/2 2PT, 6/9 3PT, 2/3 FT), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 29 EFF for Italy.

Vanja Marinkovic and Nikola Jokic ignited Serbia to a strong 16-7 start. Nikola Kalinic extended early Serbia’s domination with a 3+1 play to give the Balkan country an 11-point lead (20-9).

Although Jokic-led Serbia ran away from their opponents by 14 points (38-24) in the mid-second quarter, Italy remained in the game with Simmone Fontecchio’s and Nicolo Melli’s three-point buckets. Both players had 13 points apiece at halftime, combining for 5 triples in 9 attempts. Serbia led the way going into the break, 51-45.

Nikola Jokic scored 19 points in the first half, as Italy was fuming with referees’ decisions. They received three technical fouls in the first 15 minutes of the game.

The trend continued in the second half and the Italian coach, Gianmarco Pozzecco, was forced to leave the courtside. He got a technical foul at the start of the game, while his bench received the second one in the third quarter. Three technicals summed up and Pozzecco was ejected.

Seemed that Pozzecco leaving the game, fired up the Italians who drained three straight triples and regained the lead (66-63).

Italy: Marco Spissu 22 (6 AST), Nicolo Melli 21 (6 REB), Simone Fontecchio 19 (5 REB), Acille Polonara 16 (8 REB).

Serbia: Nikola Jokic 32 (13 REB), Vasilije Micic 16 (8 AST), Nikola Kalinic 12.

Game highlights:

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