On Wednesday, Canada and Germany qualified to play in the World Cup semifinals. The two matches will be held on Friday: Serbia vs. Canada and the United States vs. Germany.
In an electric match decided on the final ball of the game with the game clock ticking down, Germany beat Latvia with plenty of drama in the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup 81-79 at the Mall. Asia in Pasay, Philippines, where they secured a ticket to the semi-finals of the competition.
Franz Wagner finally returned to action after the ankle injury he suffered against Japan and it paid off from the start. The youngster from the Orlando Magic scored 16 points on 5/8 shooting from the field, which was enough to beat Latvia, which put Germany in a matchup against the United States in the World Cup Grand Final.
Andreas Obst added 13 points for Germany, as Mo Wagner scored 12 points, and Johannes Thiemann finished with 10 points, covering a terrible performance by Dennis Schroder, who scored 9 points on 4/26 shooting from the field, including 0/8 on threes and misses. The latter gave Latvia a golden opportunity.
Arturs Zagars was the great personality in the Latvian team. The left-hander became the game’s captain for his team and assisted on a big night, followed by 20 points for Davis Bertans, who also had a chance to become a hero. Without their biggest star, Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia competed like never before at the World Cup and left the world speechless.
The situation could have been very different if Bertans had made the final shot of the game, a 3-pointer that would have completed a veritable last-minute cinematic scene after overcoming a nine-point deficit in the final two minutes. However, the ball did not go in and Germany got their ticket, but Latvia managed to have two possessions in the final quarter, as they were trailing by double figures. The game will be rated as one of the best matches of the 2023 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Canada did its homework against Slovenia and beat them 100-89 in the quarter-final match, thus reaching the semi-finals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, where they will face Serbia for a place in the tournament’s grand finale.
Canada controlled the game for most of the match. With the first half tied at 50, the second quarter was more comfortable for the Americans, who found good supporting players to tip the scales in their favor and win the game after some drama at the end.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the most prominent figure in the match, as he sealed the victory for Canada in the final minutes when Slovenia was able to reduce the difference to single digits. The Oklahoma star finished the match with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists to lead his team into the top four in the tournament. RJ Barrett also played a key role, finishing with 24 points, 9 rebounds and a steal.
In Slovenia, which lost Luka Doncic 5 minutes from time due to the second technical foul, it was the Dallas star himself who led the charge with 26 points, four rebounds and 5 assists in 29 minutes of play. Klemen Pribilic had his best World Cup game today with 22 points and four threes, although it wasn’t enough to get the win.
In addition, eight direct qualifiers for the Olympic Games have been confirmed, with Australia, the United States, Canada, Serbia, Germany, South Sudan and Japan, as well as France as the host nation.