Serbia began their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 journey with a commanding 105-63 victory against China in the Group B opener, setting the stage with a strong and flawless start.
Serbia had nine players score at least 7 points, but Nikola Milutinov stood out by putting up 11 points with an impressive 3-of-4 field goal record and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. He also added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals in a 20-minute performance.
Serbia showcased remarkable shooting, making 58% from the field and 68% on two-pointers. They netted 13 three-pointers and assisted 30 times. Defensively, they restricted China to 38% shooting, with just 28% on long-range attempts.
“Every first game is difficult but we came out ready and focused,” Serbia guard Marko Guduric said. “We were there from the first minute defensively. And that is why I am very happy. We were focused and serious.
“We were there. We didn’t let up even when we were up by 30-40, we kept playing. That is also how you show respect to yourself and the team you are playing against.”