Serbia has once again made it to the Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup with an outstanding overall performance against Canada at the Mall of Asia Arena, where 8,630 fans witnessed the action.
The final score was 95-86 in Serbia’s favor, securing their spot in the Finals.
Interestingly, there’s a chance for a rematch of the 2014 championship game, as the United States is in the opposite bracket and will be playing against Germany in the Semi-Finals.
Typically, when facing teams with many NBA players, the strategy is to slow down the game and try to stay competitive for as long as possible.
However, Serbia had a different game plan, led by the strategic brilliance of their coach, Svetislav Pesic.
Serbia dominated the game with their fast-paced style, athleticism, and physicality, with Aleksa Avramovic applying intense pressure on the ball.
Serbia held the lead for most of the game, and when Marko Guduric and Vanja Marinkovic sank back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the third quarter, and Avramovic stole the ball from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for an easy dunk to start the fourth quarter, it was clear that the game was turning into a Serbian celebration in Manila.
Guided by Pesic, Serbia quickly established a 17-point lead in the early fourth quarter, and there was no miraculous comeback by Canada for the rest of the game.
“The defense starts with our guards, and it’s a chain effect for the rest of the team. Just one person messes up, and the whole chain falls apart. The taller guys have a lot of trust in our guards and their ball pressure, the rest of the team gives them a lot of trust.
“That’s why they are playing with a lot of confidence. Dobric was already great on defense vs. Lithuania, but it wasn’t noticeable because of his offense. And look at him today, 13 points… No, wait, 16 points! In a World Cup Semi-Final!” Svetislav Pesic, Serbia head coach, talking about Aleksa Avramovic and Ognjen Dobric.
Watch the game highlights between Serbia and Canada in the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: