Germany bags first-ever World Cup crown


Germany won their first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup title by beating undermanned Serbia 83-77 in a slugfest of the two European powerhouses on Sunday 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 never let go of the lead to 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. Germany became the first team to win a FIBA World Cup crown in their final debut since Spain in 2006. Serbia absorbed another heartbreak after losing to the United States 129-92 in the 2014 final in Madrid, Spain, through they finished better than their quarter-final exit in 2019.

The two teams, who boast strong teamwork and chemistry, traded baskets in the first half, entered the break at 47 apiece.

But Germany built up a 12-point lead late on 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. A  costly turnover and missed three-pointers prevented Serbia’s comeback.

Serbia’s starting guard Ognjen Dobric had to be carried off the floor with an ankle injury with 7:40 to go in the first quarter. Serbia also played without power forward Borisa Simanic who underwent surgery in Manila to remove a kidney after taking a blow to his midsection against South Sudan in a preliminary game.

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.

Brooks earned MVP chants from the crowd with his all-time performance, a far cry from the loud boos in Canada’s previous games. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Canada’s leading scorer, rebounder and passer, finished with 31 points, six rebounds and 12 assists. “It was fun trying to take what the defence gives me,” he told reporters.

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