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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Serbia, Germany clash for all the marbles

And then there were two.

After a grueling 16 days that saw 32 of the world’s best teams collide in three different countries and four different arenas for the pinnacle event in the sport, two European teams—by defeating a couple of North American squads overflowing with NBA talent—have set up a historic gold medal match in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

Germany and Serbia—through an unexpected turn of events that left many jaws dropping—emerged as the top two teams and will compete fiercely in the finale on Sunday at 8:40 p.m.

This is only the second time that the FIBA World Cup finals will feature two European teams since 2006 when Spain won over Greece.

The Mannschaft, who remained undefeated after seven games, found an unlikely hero in Andres Obst to stun Team USA, 113-11, in the semifinals last Friday.

Andreas chose the perfect moment to shine, tallying 24 points, including four three-pointers—the last of which shattered the Americans’ dreams of a gold medal—along with six assists and a steal in the significant victory.FIBA-WC-USA-vs.-GER-Andreas-Obst-5580 Serbia, Germany clash for all the marbles 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“The way we played, the way we played together… we stuck together at different times when things got tough. And we had players who made some huge plays. One more to go. We’ll enjoy this a little bit and get ready for Sunday,” said Germany’s head coach, Gordie Herbert.

“It’s a great win, but we’re not where we want to be yet. This group of players wants to win gold,” he added.

Serbia followed the same path as the Germans, taking on a formidable Canada only to emerge victorious, 95-86, and reach the gold medal match.

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Bogdan Bogdanovic, as he has done throughout the tournament, led the Eagles with 23 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the contest that saw the Road Warriors, considered one of the favorites to win it all alongside Team USA, relegated to the bronze match.FIBA-WC-SRB-vs.-CAN-Bogdan-Bogdanovic-3428 Serbia, Germany clash for all the marbles 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

The Serbians, who lost to the Americans in the gold medal match back in 2014, achieved this without their main man and two-time NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic.

“I don’t know if it’s the right moment to talk about Jokić, but I can say only one thing,” Serbian coach Svetislav Pešić said.

“Jokić will always be part of the team because he’s the best player in the world at the moment. A great person. And now, I think it’s not the time to talk too much about him. Now is the time to talk about the players who are here.”

Germany will aim for its first FIBA Basketball World Cup title, while Serbia will strive to win its first gold medal as an independent nation.

On the other hand, the North American showdown between Team USA and Canada—the matchup everyone thought would comprise the finale—will compete for the bronze medal earlier in the day at 4:45.

The Americans will rely on the duo of Austin Reaves and Anthony Edwards, who led the team’s furious rally against the Germans, while the Canadians will turn to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in hopes of securing their first-ever podium finish.

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