Greece to host Serbia, Italy in 32nd Acropolis Tournament
ATHENS (Greece) - A mouthwatering 32nd Aegean Acropolis Tournament is to be with Italy, Serbia and Greece crossing swords before the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
The eyes of international basketball will be on Athens as three of Europe's powerhouses face each other in a triangular event that is being staged August 8, 9 and 10.
Το τουρνουά AEGEAN Ακρόπολις επιστρέφει! Ελλάδα, Σερβία και Ιταλία δίνουν ραντεβού 8-10 Αυγούστου στο δρόμο για το @FIBAWC 2023. Σας περιμένουμε στο ΟΑΚΑ! @Italbasket @KSSrbije @aegeanairlines #FIBAWC #WinForHellas #WinForAll #HellasBasketball 🏀🇬🇷 pic.twitter.com/omhLcXd8lo— Hellenic Basketball (@HellenicBF) March 20, 2023
That means the Acropolis Tournament will be the latest installment of the Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic rivalry in national team hoops. The Jokic-led Serbia hosted Greece and Antetokounmpo in a European Qualifier for the World Cup last summer in Belgrade, a game Serbia won, 100-94, after overtime.
Antetokounmpo left town after pouring in 40 points, corralling eight rebounds, handing out five assists and coming up with a couple of steals. Jokic finished that game with 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists and a steal but crucially led Serbia to a victory they desperately needed to in their qualifying campaign.
Jokic and Serbia won an overtime thriller against Greece and Antetokounmpo
In the last international window, a young Greece squad got an eye-popping 28 points from 21-year-old Nikos Rogkavopoulos and won, 97-92, forcing Serbia to beat Great Britain in their last game to qualify for the World Cup.
The presence of Italy will create just as much anticipation because they, too, have engaged in some important battles with Serbia and Greece over the years.
Only last summer in Berlin, Italy came from 14 points down to defeat Jokic and Serbia, 94-86, in the Round of 16 at FIBA EuroBasket 2022.
Nicolo Melli, Simone Fontecchio and Achille Polonara had superb performances in that game, but the underheralded hero of that game and others that is sure to grab the attention of the Greeks and Serbians will be Marco Spissu.
The guard hit six three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Italians.