Serbia cruised to an easy victory over Venezuela in their first game of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The win marked Serbia's first Olympic basketball victory as an independent nation.
After a closer first quarter, Serbia took over in the second. The Serbs outscored Venezuela 26-9 in the period and closed out the half on a 16-2 run.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 19 points and Miroslav Raduljica added 18 in the win. Nikola Jokic, the MVP of the Belgrade Olympic Qualifying Tournament, scored just four points.
Even with a subpar performance from Jokic, Serbia was able to dominate the paint and outrebounded Venezuela 41-25.
Gregory Echenique and Jose Vargas each had 12 points for Venezuela. The Venezuelans looked overmatched for most of the game as the talent differential was just too much to overcome.
For Venezuela it was a big accomplishment to even make the Rio field. They shocked the basketball world in 2015 by beating a Canadian team laden with NBA players, including Andrew Wiggins, to win the FIBA Americas Championship and secure a spot in the Rio Olympics.
On Monday, Serbia takes on an Australian team that pounded France in their opening game, and Venezuela will see another tough matchup in the United States.