Germany won their first-ever Fiba Basketball World Cup title by beating undermanned Serbia 83-77 in a slugfest of the two European powerhouses yesterday in Manila.
Germany leaned on a 22-10 surge in the third quarter, orchestrated by brothers Franz and Moritz Wagner, to build a cushion and win the World Cup’s first all-European final since 2006.
The tournament most valuable player Dennis Schroder carried Germany with a game-high 28 points, way above his average of 17.9 points per game, and added two rebounds and two assists.
“This is an unbelievable group... coach did a great job bringing us together,” Schroder told a Press conference. “Our defence and how we play as a basketball team is just special.”
Germany, who won all eight tournament games, became the first team since 2006 to win a FIBA World Cup crown while debuting in the final.
Serbia absorbed another heartbreak after losing to the United States 129-92 in the 2014 final, but finished better than their quarter-final exit in 2019.
The two teams were tied at 47 by halftime but Germany built up a 12-point lead late in the third quarter and never looked back.
Marko Guduric converted two free throws, cutting Germany’s lead to two, 79-77, with 39.5 ticks to go in the final frame. But a costly turnover and missed three-pointers prevented Serbia’s comeback.
Serbia’s Ognjen Dobric was carried off the floor with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Their power forward, Borisa Simanic, underwent surgery in Manila to remove a kidney after taking a blow to his midsection against South Sudan in a preliminary match.
Earlier, Canada bagged their first World Cup podium finish at the expense of short-handed United States 127-118 in overtime in a riveting, record-setting bronze-medal game.