Top favorite Serbia around NBA superstar Nikola Jokic was surprisingly eliminated in the round of 16 at the European Basketball Championship in Berlin.
Despite 32 points and 13 rebounds, the 2017 European Championship runner-up was beaten by center Jokic Italy 86:94 (51:45). In the preliminary round, Serbia had lined up five sovereign victories and thus underpinned its status as the biggest contender for gold.
Finland, led by the outstanding Lauri Markkanen, had previously reached the quarterfinals of the European Championship for the first time in 55 years. The NBA professional from the Cleveland Cavaliers scored 43 points for his team in the surprising 94:86 of the Finns in the round of 16 against 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 (5:15 p.m.).
Ukraine, on the other hand, missed the leap into the quarterfinals. The Ukrainians had to admit defeat to Poland in the round of 16 with 86:94. Point Guard A.J. Slaughter with 24 points. The Poles will now meet defending champion Slovenia with NBA star Luka Doncic on Wednesday (8.30 p.m.).