Germany stuns USA, punches ticket to FIBA World Cup finals

Dennis Schroder celebrates with Andreas Obst after Germany stunned Team USA. Kennelf Monteza
By John Rhey Piamonte

PASAY–The magical run for Germany continues as the Deutschland kept its unblemished record alive after scorching the United States in a thrilling 113-111 upset to book themselves a ticket to the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup finals, Friday night at the slam-packed Mall of Asia Arena. 

It was a splendid display of team basketball for Germany with six players scoring in double figures spearheaded by shooting guard Andreas Obst who had his highest-scoring game in the World Cup, finishing with 24 points, alongside six assists.  

“We played pretty well. We know our role well. We know it will be more of a transition game. So, it came down to our half-court efforts and shrinking the floor. And be there on defense,” Obst said at the post-game conference. 

The current world no. 11 came out swinging in the opening quarter as the Die Mannschafts shot an efficient 64 percent shooting clip from the field to control the early goings of the match, 33-31. Franz Wagner paced the Germans with nine quick points in the first. 

Then, it was a back-and-forth second salvo as both teams started to heat up, trading haymakers with each other but a late-quarter surge by Mikal Bridges and Anthony Edwards helped USA to snatch the lead from the hands of Germany, 60-59, at halftime. 

Germany went to shoot the lights out in the third with Obst connecting consecutive triples that propelled Deutschland to an 89-80 advantage. 

Bouncing back from a dismal four for 26 shooting in their quarterfinal match against Slovenia last Wednesday, Dennis Schroder had himself a night scoring 17 points and dishing out nine assists including the go-ahead jumper that built a double-digit lead for Germany, 94-84 heading into the final quarter. 

Wagner barged in with another impressive outing, scoring 22 points for Germany. 

Team USA managed to pull off a one-last stand in the deciding minutes of the match as guard Austin Reeves knocked down a triple that trimmed the gap to 106-99 with four minutes left to play. 

A couple of more defensive stops by the United States fazed Germany and led to a three-point shot by Edwards, making it a one-possession ball game, 106-103. 

But the Coach Gordie Herbert-headed squad kept its composure in the end game with team captain Schroder delivering in clutch off a successful mid-range jumper that extended their lead back to six, 113-107. 

Edwards topped the scoring chart for Team USA after nailing 23 points while Reaves finished with 21 markers across his name. 

Following Serbia's win against Canada in the first game, this will be the second all-European final in the FIBA World Cup in the 2000s after Spain versus Greece in the 2006 edition of the tournament held in Tokyo, Japan.

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