World Champion Final 2002: Yugoslavia beat Argentina in heart attack final

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 2002 Argentina Decade 2000 World Champion Yugoslavia

In the summer of 2002, the World Cup was held in Indianapolis, where in the final Yugoslavia defeated Argentina by 84-77 in extra time, coming from a game that had virtually lost. The final had its controversy after a very discussed decision in the last action of the match in a penetration of Oberto defended by Bodiroga. In the extension Argentina deflated and Yugoslavia took advantage of it to proclaim itself World champion

In the semi-finals Yugoslavia, which had previously eliminated the United States in the quarterfinals (first historic NBA defeats, 6th at the end), beat New Zealand (incredible semi-finalist) by 89-78. On the other hand Argentina defeated Nowitzki’s Germany by 86-80. The bronze was won by Germany, clearly defeating New Zealand 117-94.

Argentina has paid dearly for its only defeat in the World Basketball Championship. In a climbing final that had to be resolved in extra time, Yugoslavia won the gold medal (84-77) and its fifth World Cup thanks to Bodiroga and Stojakovic. Argentina, unanimously considered the best basketball team throughout the tournament, went on to win by 10 points in the last quarter, but at the last moment he missed the victory.

Dejan Bodiroga (27 points), author in the fourth period of the last seven points with which Yugoslavia forced the extra time, plus a steal of ball that, with five seconds to go, put the victory in the hands of Vlade Divac, and the forward Sacramento Kings Stojakovic (26), imposed their individual quality in one of the best World Cup finals in history and retained against an imperial Argentina led by an Oberto (28 and 10 rebounds) from another galaxy the gold that Yugoslavia already won four years ago in Athens.

These three men, and behind them two extraordinary teams, fought for the first step of world basketball in an unforgettable encounter that not even lacked a bitter controversy in the last second of the fourth final and, product of it, the extra time that decided the European triumph (84-77).

The first two executioners of the U.S. professionals, a privilege that has also reached Spain, bet on the best basketball with a game intense, exciting, demanding and plastic as few that the selections of Svetislav Pesic and Ruben Magnano interpreted with mastery. Argentina, on whom Ginobili’s injury planned like a ghost, not only maintained the type while his star witnessed the first two quarters from the bench, but also stood up to the powerful team plavi in all fields.

Yugoslavia won at half-time (41-39), but still lacked the control and hegemony that many expected and Argentina, undefeated until yesterday, was still capable of more. Scola and Montecchia had four fouls, but the South Americans started the third quarter with a 2-14 partial and turned the final upside down (43-53). A triple of Juan Pepe Sanchez with 4m10s left jumped the alarms and Pesic asked for time automatically. The scoreboard, at 61-69. The answer was immediate: another triple, this one of Stojakovic, and the party, surrendered to the memorable performance of Oberto, entered the final straight with Yugoslavia at the edge of the abyss. Six points made the difference less than two minutes to the horn (68-74).

Then Bodiroga appeared, sensational, to score seven consecutive points and force extra time, after a steal of ball that Divac did not turn into gold to miss free kicks. Five seconds remained and the rebound, from the immeasurable Oberto, ended up in the hands of Sconochini. The forward lined up the hoop like a shell and the referees, the Greek Pitsilkas and the Dominican Mercedes, left unpunished the suspicious jump of Divac and Bodiroga on the tray of the Argentine in which, unquestionably, there was contact.

The American protest did not change the decision and the gold chose side because Stojakovic opened the extra time with a triple, Bodiroga (27 points and six rebounds) transformed two staff pitches and Argentina lost the tino. A couple of free throws from Oberto were all the production in the fateful added time of the Albicelestes, who could not reedit their victory in the 1950 World Cup, but leave with the prestige granted by having practiced, according to the unanimous opinion of all specialists, the best basketball have practiced.

Yugoslavia 84
*Vujanic – 7p.
*Gurovic – 3p, 3r.
*Stojakovic – 26p, 6r.
*Koturovic – 3p, 9r.
*Divac – 3p, 8r.
Jaric – 9p, 3r.
Rakocevic – 0p, 1r.
Bodiroga – 27p, 6r.
Tomasevic – 6p, 2r.

Argentina 77
*Sanchez – 3p, 6r, 6a.
*Sconochini – 3p, 4r.
*Nocioni – 5p, 1r.
*Wolkowisky – 11p, 6r.
*Oberto – 28p, 10r.
Montecchia – 4p, 2r.
Palladino – 10, 2a.
Ginobili – 0p, 1r.
Scola – 11p, 4r.
Fernandez – 2p.
Victoriano – 0p, 1a.