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Basketball: Germany beats Serbia, Claims First World Cup Title

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Germany won its first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup title after beating Serbia 83-77 in a thrilling final featuring two European powerhouses on Sunday in Manila, Philippines.

The two teams, who boast strong teamwork and chemistry, traded baskets in the first half, entered the break at 47 apiece. But Germany built up a 12-point lead late on in the third quarter and never looked back.

Marko Guduric converted two free throws, cutting Germany’s lead to two, 79-77, with 39.5 seconds to go in the final frame. A costly turnover and missed three-pointers prevented Serbia’s comeback.

The tournament most valuable player, Dennis Schroder, carried Germany with a game-high 28 points, way above his average of 17.9 points per game and added two rebounds and two assists.

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Germany became the first team to win a FIBA World Cup crown in their final debut since Spain in 2006, while Serbia absorbed another heartbreak after losing to the United States 129-92 in the 2014 final in Madrid.

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Earlier, Canada bagged its first World Cup podium finish after beating the United States 127-118 in overtime in a record-setting bronze-medal game.

Hot-shooting Dillon Brooks, who will play for the Houston Rockets next season, powered the Canadians with his tournament-high 39 points, hitting seven of eight three-pointers, along with four rebounds and five assists. It was the most points scored by a player in a medal-winning game in tournament history.

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Canada’s leading scorer, rebounder and passer, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, finished with 31 points, six rebounds and 12 assists.  Team USA’s leading scorer, Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, recorded 24 points, five rebounds and three assists.

The Americans recorded the most points they have conceded in a World Cup game, while Canada achieved multiple milestones in the tournament, including their semi-final debut, while qualifying for the Summer Olympics for the first time since 2000.

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