Schroder carries Germany to first-ever World Cup title

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Germany defeated Serbia 83-77 to clinch its first FIBA Basketball World Cup title Sunday evening. Dennis Schroder was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament.

Dennis Schroder (R) of Germany goes for a lay-up during the final against Serbia at the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Manila, the Philippines, Sept. 10, 2023. (Xinhua/Wu Zhuang)

Schroder, boasting an average of 17.6 points, 6.1 assists, and 2 rebounds throughout the World Cup, delivered a game-high 28 points in the final. Franz Wagner contributed 19 points and seven rebounds, while Johannes Voigtmann added 12 points and eight rebounds.

For Serbia, Aleksa Avramovic led the scoring with 21 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic chipped in with 17 points and five assists. Nikola Milutinov, however, struggled, missing all four of his attempts and ending the game with just two points and four assists.

The Mall of Asia Arena felt like a home game for Serbia, thanks to their passionate fans. However, concerns arose early on when Ognjen Dobric sustained an injury and had to leave the court just three minutes into the game.

Historically, in each of the previous five finals in the 21st century, the team leading at half-time emerged victorious. But Sunday's final saw both teams tied at 47 points at halftime.

A pivotal moment occurred in the third quarter when a contentious foul was called on Aleksa Avramovic as he attempted to block Schroder's shot from behind the arc. Capitalizing on it, Germany went on a 9-0 run after Schroder converted two of his three free throws. Serbia faced offensive challenges, scoring only 10 points in the quarter and lagging by 12 points into the final quarter.

Team Germany celebrate winning the FIBA World Cup final in Manila, the Philippines, Sept. 10, 2023. (Xinhua/Meng Yongmin)

Avramovic, however, ignited in the fourth quarter. The 28-year-old guard netted 16 points, helping Serbia reduce the deficit to just three points with 1:21 remaining.

Schroder, demonstrating resilience under pressure, executed a layup and sank two free throws to secure the victory for Germany.

Germany remained undefeated by winning all eight games, and became the fourth European country and seventh overall to win the world crown. It also marked the first time a nation clinched the FIBA World Cup title in its debut in the final since Spain faced Greece in 2006. 

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