In 2023 the World Cup was held in three venues, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, where the finals were played in Manila. Germany beat Serbia 83-77 in the final, which was a unique moment for them because it was the first time they had ever played in a World Cup final, and they did it by beating the United States in the semi-finals, in one of the most memorable games in the history of the competition. German point guard Dennis Schroder was named the MVP
In the semi-finals, Germany beat the United States (111-113), in a game where the Europeans dominated for most of the game, only to hold off the USA in the final possessions to win. In the other match Serbia put all their skills to win against another of the medal favourites, Jordi Fernandez’s Canada, but in the end the Balkan team was more solid in this kind of games and won by (95-86). In the battle for bronze, Canada completed the feat of winning their first ever medal, beating the USA (118-27) after extra time. The USA watched helplessly as they were unable to win a medal for the second consecutive World Cup.
Dennis Schröder led the way with 28 points, including a key layup with 21.4 seconds left that neutralised the Balkan reaction. Franz Wagner followed with 19 and Voigtmann added 12.
It was the first World Cup title for Germany, whose previous best in this tournament was bronze in 2002 in the Nowitzki era. Apart from that, they only had one gold medal to their name, from EuroBasket 1993 under Svetislav Pesic, yesterday’s coach of the final opponents.
The German victory did justice to their greater accuracy, determination and judgement after the break. Schröder was inconsistent in that phase but much more so Serbia’s star Bogdanovic, who disappeared at times.
Despite the defensive intensity and the constancy with which both teams applied themselves at the back, the game started with pace and accuracy. First by Serbia (0-5) but then Germany responded to prolong the equality and the exchange of blows. The initial setback came from Dobric, who suffered a sprained ankle that kept him off the court without Serbia initially feeling the pain.
Bogdanovic and Marinkovic struck first from three-pointers with Obst and Schroder responding later to make it 23-26 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second Serbia again tried to break away with Petrusev taking the lead for a few minutes and Bogdanovic hitting three-pointers in a phase of steals by the Balkan team. The 38-42 lead in the 16th minute, however, was neutralised soon after with some meritorious baskets by Schröder who, together with Franz Wagner, took over the offensive responsibility for his team. Both went into half-time with 14 points to Bogdanovic’s 15. Maximum equality (47-47) at half-time.
Germany took the lead for the first time at the start of the third quarter, with Schröder and Franz Wagner being resolute. Serbia got lost in protests after misses near the basket and, after a 12-2 deficit, soon found themselves trailing by more than ten (67-55 min. 29). The end of the third quarter closed at 69-57.
Serbia tried to intensify their defence but in attack they lost all criteria. The team’s leader at that moment, both in defence and attack, was Aleksa Avramovic, who kept the lead until the final minute, starring in actions that generated concern in Gordon Herbert’s team. A three-pointer by the former Estudiantes and Unicaja player with 4:25 to go put the score at 73-69, which was then reduced to two (79-77). Marko Guduric, who had missed a three-pointer to tie the game and a layup in which he was fouled, was unable to redeem himself, losing a last ball that killed off all the Plavi’s chances after the aforementioned key layup by Schröder.
*Schroder – 28p, 2a, 2r
*Obst – 7p, 1a, 1br
*F.Wagner – 19p, 7r, 3br
*Theis – 2p, 4r, 2a
*Voigtmann – 12p, 8r, 3a
Lo – 0p, 1r, 1a
Giffey – 0p
Bonga – 7p, 2r
Thiemann – 0p, 2r, 2a
M.Wagner – 8p, 4r
*S.Jovic – 3p, 2br
*Dobric – 0p
*Bogdanovic – 17p, 5a, 3r
*N.Jovic – 9p, 8r, 1a
*Milutinov – 2p, 4r, 4a
Marinkovic – 9p, 1r
Avramovic – 21p, 2a, 1br
Guduric – 4p, 3r, 2a
Davidovac – 2p, 3br, 2r
Petrusev – 10p, 4r, 1t