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SIZZLING SHOOTOUT | Germany, Serbia gun for world crown

Serbia, spearheaded by Bogdan Bogdanovic (middle) is confident to clinch the gold medal of the FIBA World Cup. (Photo, FIBA

For the second straight edition of the FIBA World Cup, a European country will emerge as the new champion of the and on Sunday, either Serbia or Germany will bring home the gold.

The two teams which went different paths square off in the main game at 8:40 p.m.  at the Mall of Asia Arena as Germany tries to complete a perfect season and a chance to win its first ever world championship.

Serbia, too, is trying to etch its mark in history of the world basketball championship and looking to continue what its predecessors from Yugoslavia, a five-time world champion, had accomplished.

All eyes will be on Bogdan Bogdanovic, a star player from the National Basketball Association, who has picked up from where he left off in the previous edition of the FIBA World Cup in 2019 where he emerged as the best player.

Bogdanovic has been averaging close to 20 points a game but will have his hands full against a team considered the most balanced in the entire tournament.

Germany’s artillery and solid production were enough to dislodge the highly-fancied United States for the right to figure in the gold medal game, winning 113-111.

Serbia will have to deal with several German threats: Dennis Schroder, Franz and Moritz Wagner, Daniel  Theis and Andreas Obst.

Moritz Wagner of Germany wants to help his team in scoring a perfect season, capped by a gold medal feat. (Photo, FIBA)

Obst, a 6-foot-3 gunner who plays  in Germany, has never set foot in the NBA, but has helped the country’s resurgence as a powerhouse by making the podium in last year’s EuroBasket.

He has averaged 10.9 points per game, but has a reputation for delivering during big moments.

“We talked about how it was a great win, but we’re not at where we want to be yet,” said Germany coach Gordie Herbert, a Canadian coach who spent nearly three decades of coaching in the European circuit.

“This group of players want to win the gold. So, one more to go. But we’ll get ready for Sunday.”
The Americans face Canada in the battle for the bronze medal at 4:30 p.m.

Multi-titled NBA champion coach Steve Kerr acknowledged how basketball landscape has changed more than three decades since the US Dream Team swept the world and won the gold medal in the Olympics.

It has become a brand new world, according to the mentor of the Golden State Warriors.

“The game has been globalized over the last 30 years or so,” he said.

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