MANILA, Philippines — Beating the Americans at the FIBA World Cup wasn’t enough for Germany; they wanted, and found, gold.
Dennis Schröder’s bullish drive to the hoop and right hand off the glass with 21.4 seconds left was the signature finisher in the Germans’ 83-77 triumph over Serbia, making them the 2023 world champions on Sunday in Manila.
Schröder, who was named World Cup MVP after the game, scored a game-high 28 points, Frantz Wagner added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Germany won its first international championship in men’s basketball, counting the World Cup and the Olympics. Germany made it through the entire World Cup gauntlet undefeated, including an even narrower two-point win over Team USA in the semifinals.
Other worthy national teams have beaten the U.S. and failed to keep alive the emotional highs. The Germans didn’t waver, though they were tested by Serbia. It was a tie game (47-47) at the half and the Serbians trimmed what had been a 12-point deficit down to two with 39 seconds left.
Schröder, who was 9-of-17 shooting for the game, stopped the rally with that drive to the basket and recognizable scoop off the backboard. He added two free throws after a Serbia turnover to further seal the win.
The Serbians, who defeated Canada to reach the finals and made it this far without Nikola Jokić, arguably the world’s best player, were led in scoring by Aleksa Avramovic (21 points). Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 17 points with five assists.
This story will be updated.
(Photo: Matthias Stickel / picture alliance via Getty Images)