FIBA World Cup

Jokic-Giannis MVP clash banners Serbia win over Greece in World Cup qualifiers

Jokic-Giannis MVP clash banners Serbia win over Greece in World Cup qualifiers

Jan 30, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the third quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo - winners of the last 4 NBA MVP awards - figure in a superstar-level clash as host Serbia tops Greece at the 2023 FIBA World Cup European qualifiers

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who have combined to win the past four NBA MVP awards, had a rare summer encounter on Thursday, August 25 (Friday, August 26, Manila time) in international competition.

Jokic led host Serbia to a 100-94 overtime victory over Antetokounmpo’s native Greece in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game in Belgrade.

Antetokounmpo scored 40 points in 40 minutes, becoming the first player in history to hit 40 in a European qualifier game. He added 8 rebounds and 5 assists. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent Jokic’s team from sealing the victory.

Jokic finished with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting along with 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. He knocked down a turnaround three-pointer off one leg over Antetokounmpo late in the game to put Serbia up by 8, 87-79.

Greece managed to force overtime, but Jokic hit two shots over Antetokounmpo in the extra session.

Serbia improved to 2-3 in European qualifiers for the World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia in 2023. Greece is 3-2. They each have five games to go.

Jokic is the NBA’s two-time defending MVP, as he followed Antetokounmpo winning the award back-to-back in 2019 and 2020. –

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