Nikola Jovic optimistic about Serbia winning gold in future
MANILA, Philippines — After settling for silver in his first Fiba World Cup stint as a senior men’s national team member, Nikola Jovic vows to come back stronger for Serbia.
Serbia’s late fightback was not enough to stop World Cup MVP Dennis Schroder and Germany from sweeping the Fiba World Cup 2023 with an 83-77 victory in the final on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Jovic, who put up nine points and eight rebounds, couldn’t hide his frustration after the Serbians ended up with a runner-up finish for the second time in the last three World Cup competitions.
But the 6-foot-10 forward remained gracious in defeat, promising to get the gold in the future including the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“I really want to win gold. We gave everything we have and we didn’t succeed,” Jovic told reporters. “I’m sure next time will get it.”
“It means a lot. Every medal means a lot to us. Being a small country, we embrace everything we get. I think we took it. Maybe we’re not first but maybe next time,” he added.
For the second time in a row this year, the 20-year-old Serbian lost the championship following his rookie season with the Miami Heat, who fell to the Denver Nuggets, led by Serbian superstar Nikola Jokic in the 2023 NBA Finals.
But instead of sulking, Jovic is choosing to use his previous setbacks as birth pains to get better when he competes for Serbia in the next tournaments.
“You can see how many countries now can play ball. I think it’s gonna be bigger and bigger and they get better and better,” he said.
Jovic is eager to bring all the lessons he got from his teammates, especially from their captain Bogdan Bogdanovic.
“Just being with these guys was amazing. Seeing them was unbelievable. They helped me to become a bigger person,” Jovic said. “He was great, he was an amazing player, he’s one of the best players who played with this jersey.”