First-time finalists, Germany came from behind to win a thrilling summit clash against Serbia, claiming their first FIBA World Cup title. Both Germany and Serbia have already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. On Sunday, a Dennis Schroder-inspired Germany defeated Serbia 83-77 to win the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Manila. Despite falling behind 26-23 in the first quarter, the Germans, who were competing in their first-ever final, refused to be intimidated by the occasion.
They replied by seizing an early four-point lead in the second quarter, fueled by Isaac Bonga’s energy on both sides of the ball and Toronto Raptor Schroder’s three-point wizardry. After surviving a Serbian rally, the teams went into halftime tied at 47-47. By this point, the lead had changed hands 15 times, indicating a high-quality yet balanced contest.
Germany pushed on the pedal in the third quarter to open up an 11-point lead when Serbia called a timeout in front of a raucous crowd. The Germans stretched their lead to 69-57 at the buzzer, thanks to superior shooting accuracy from players such as Orlando Magic standout Franz Wagner. After a back-and-forth first half, a 22-10 third-quarter run gave Germany the breathing time it needed, and Serbia couldn’t reclaim the advantage down the stretch.
Serbia, led by clever Bogdan Bogdanovic, rallied valiantly in the fourth quarter to cut the gap to three points, but Germany survived the exciting final minute to end the contest and ignite wild celebrations on the court. It closed to 79-77 after Marko Guduric hit a pair of free throws with 39.5 seconds remaining, but Schroder blasted past two players for a basket on the subsequent German possession to re-establish a four-point lead.
After winning bronze at FIBA EuroBasket 2022, Germany has won major event medals in successive years for the first time in the country’s history. Schroder was honored with the prestigious FIBA World Cup MVP award, as expected, after scoring 28 points on the night, including the game-winning shot. After reaching the semi-finals as the top two-ranked European teams, Germany and Serbia have already won Olympic berths for Paris 2024.
Meanwhile, Canada defeated the United States 127-118 in overtime to finish third at the FIBA World Cup and earn its first-ever podium finish. The Canadians thought they had won in regulation until Mikal Bridges made a three-point shot with 0.2 seconds remaining to force overtime. However, Canadians held their nerve and calm to secure a memorable win.