Serbia has once again reached the Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup with an impressive all-around performance against Canada at the Mall of Asia Arena, where 8,630 fans were in attendance.
The final score was 95-86, securing Serbia’s place in the Finals. There’s a possibility of a rematch of the 2014 championship game because the United States is on the opposite side of the bracket, facing Germany in the Semi-Finals.
Usually, when facing teams with numerous NBA players, the strategy is to slow down the game and try to remain competitive for as long as possible.
However, Serbia had a different approach, led by the strategic genius of their coach, Svetislav Pesic. Serbia dominated the game with their fast-paced style, athleticism, and physicality, with Aleksa Avramovic’s intense ball pressure causing trouble.
Serbia held the lead for the majority of the game.
The momentum shifted decisively in their favor when Marko Guduric and Vanja Marinkovic sank back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the third quarter, and Avramovic’s steal from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt for an easy dunk at the start of the fourth quarter signaled the beginning of a Serbian celebration in Manila.
Under Pesic’s guidance, Serbia built a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter, and Canada couldn’t mount a miraculous comeback for the rest of the game.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life, this amount of energy,” Marko Guduric said. “It’s incredible. I can only wish them to have good night’s sleep today and tomorrow so they can keep this rhythm up in the Final.
“We’re just trying to follow their lead, it all starts with them. I knew everything about Dobric and his game, we grew up together, and now I finally met Aleksa and realized what he can do.”
Watch the game highlights between Serbia and Canada in the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: