In Manila, Germany secured their maiden FIBA Basketball World Cup championship by defeating an undermanned Serbia team 83-77 in a tough battle between two European powerhouses.
Germany relied on a 22-10 surge during the third quarter, masterminded by the Wagner brothers, Franz and Moritz, to establish a lead they never relinquished, marking the World Cup’s first all-European final since 2006.
The tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Dennis Schroder, played a crucial role for Germany with a game-high 28 points, surpassing his average of 17.9 points per game. He also contributed two rebounds and two assists.
Germany made history by becoming the first team to win a FIBA World Cup title in their debut appearance in the final since Spain achieved the same feat in 2006. For Serbia, it was another heartbreaking loss, following their defeat to the United States in the 2014 final, despite a better finish than their quarter-final exit in 2019.
In the first half, both teams, known for their strong teamwork and chemistry, traded baskets and entered halftime with the score tied at 47 apiece.
Germany managed to establish a 12-point lead late in the third quarter and maintained control of the game from that point onward.
Serbia made an effort to mount a comeback when Marko Guduric converted two free throws, narrowing Germany’s lead to just two points, 79-77, with 39.5 seconds left in the final quarter. However, a costly turnover and missed three-point attempts prevented Serbia from completing their comeback.
Serbia faced challenges due to injuries, with starting guard Ognjen Dobric being carried off the court with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Additionally, power forward Borisa Simanic was unavailable for Serbia after undergoing kidney surgery in Manila following an injury sustained during a preliminary game against South Sudan.
In another World Cup match, Canada secured their first-ever podium finish by defeating the undermanned United States 127-118 in overtime in a thrilling bronze-medal game. Dillon Brooks, known for his hot shooting, led the Canadian team with a tournament-high 39 points, including seven of eight successful three-pointers, along with four rebounds and five assists. This performance marked the highest point total by a player in a medal-winning game in tournament history.
Dillon Brooks put on a remarkable performance that earned him MVP chants from the crowd, a significant departure from the loud boos he experienced during Canada’s previous games.
Canada’s top scorer, rebounder, and playmaker, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, contributed 31 points, six rebounds, and 12 assists in the game. He expressed his enjoyment in taking what the defense offered during the match.
The United States faced challenges as NBA Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero, Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr, and forward Brandon Ingram were sidelined due to illness. Anthony Edwards, the leading scorer for Team USA from the Minnesota Timberwolves, recorded 24 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
Canada took advantage of a slow start by the US to establish a 34-21 lead in the first quarter, but Team USA fought back.
The game ended with a tie at 111 points each in regulation, with Canada’s Kelly Olynyk missing a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
The United States allowed the most points they’ve conceded in a World Cup game.
Despite the defeat, the United States achieved a better result than their seventh-place finish in 2019, which was their worst-ever major international tournament performance. The US has won the tournament a record five times. Canada reached several milestones in the tournament, including their semi-final debut and qualification for the Summer Olympics for the first time since 2000.