Germany has won their first-ever title by beating undermanned Serbia 83-77 in a slugfest of the two European powerhouses in Manila.
Germany leaned on a 22-10 surge in the third quarter on Sunday, 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’s 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 quarterfinal exit in 2019.
The two teams, who boast strong teamwork and chemistry, traded baskets in the first half, and 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 points, 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.