They may not have Nikola Jokic, but the Serbians are still in the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. After going 4-1 through the group stages and finishing second in group I, Serbia faced Lithuania, who had been the only team to defeat Team USA so far in the tournament. That did not seem to bother Bogdan Bogdanovic and the rest of his teammates, though.
Instead of the close contest that was billed before tip-off, Serbia ran riot on the court and never took their feet off the gas. Led by Bogdanovic, who finished the game with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists. He barely had to play in the fourth quarter and was ultra-efficient as he shot 9 of 13 from the field. The Atlanta Hawks guard also added another feather to his cap, becoming the sixth player to score over 400 points in the FIBA World Cup.
Bogdanovic certainly didn’t do it alone. Filip Petrusev poured in 17 points, six rebounds and two assists. Stefan Jovic also contributed 11 points in the 87-68 victory, and it never really felt close in the second half. Serbia already had an 11-point lead after the first two periods, which ballooned to 18 by the end of the third quarter. It felt like a mere formality afterwards.
Jonas Valanciunas only managed to produce 11 points and four rebounds for Lithuania, and he saw just a little over 18 minutes of play in the game.
Serbia will now be waiting to see who they’ll tangle with in the final four, as they’ll face the winner of the contest between Canada and Slovenia. Both teams have danger, with the abundance of NBA talent on the Canada squad along with the strong play of Luka Doncic and his consistent teammates on the other.