The sensation is perfect: Germany is basketball world champion for the first time ever. In the World Cup final, the DBB team prevailed against strong Serbs with 83:77.
World Champion! The German basketball players completed a perfect tournament in Manila with their historic first World Cup title and crowned an entire generation. The outstanding captain Dennis Schröder and his team beat Serbia in a thrilling final on Sunday with 83:77 (47:47), thus pulling off one of the biggest surprises in German sports history. Led by Schröder (28 points) and the always aggressive young star Franz Wagner (19), the European Championship third place won the heated duel with former national coach Svetislav Pesic.
The gold coup in Manila is the second international title after the European Championships in 1993. Even the generation around the now retired German basketball icon Dirk Nowitzki never achieved such a success. After eight wins from eight games for the next four years until the 2027 World Cup in Qatar, the golden Naismith Trophy deserves to go to Germany. The 74-year-old Pesic was not granted a second World Cup title as head coach after 2002. A decent team performance paired with Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was once again outstanding, was not enough against the strong German team.
With the memorable 113:111 over Olympic champion USA in the semifinals, the hype had become increasingly intense in the last few days. While the US professionals also lost bronze against Canada (118:127 after extra time) on Sunday, ZDF in Germany broadcast the final live with a live broadcast. Chancellor Olaf Scholz had also been aware of what was happening with Schröder and Co. since Friday at the latest.
Even Chancellor Scholz is excited
“You deserve it!” Scholz wrote before the game started via X, previously Twitter. A good two hours later, which turned into a big fight against physical Serbs in front of 12,022 spectators in the sold-out Mall of Asia Arena, the historic success was perfect. The first German World Cup title came exactly eight years after Nowitzki’s last international match. And around four years after the debacle in China, which ended with a devastating 18th place after being eliminated in the preliminary round against the Dominican Republic.
“The boys understand this opportunity. This is a chance that only comes once in a lifetime in such a big final,” said national coach Gordon Herbert to his team. The atmosphere in the modern arena in the Philippines was sparkling. And the Serbian fans, who were also expecting tennis superstar Novak Djokovic’s US Open final on Super Sports Sunday, started shouting “goodbye” in German early on. Even without the sidelined NBA star Nikola Jokic, their team proved to be the tough opponent Germany had expected.
In contrast to the sloppy US stars, the Serbs played tough defense. “Pesic defense,” as Herbert warned. In the attack, the Serbs made two three-point throws with Brett, and the lead changed back and forth. And Germany accepted the challenge with a change of strategy. Instead of playmaker Schröder, the ball initially went to the 22-year-old Wagner, who wanted to take control of the game on the biggest stage right in the early stages.
The young star picked up the pace, moved energetically to the basket and again had a few verbal arguments with the referees. After a balanced first half, the two German stars Schröder and Wagner each had 14 points. A Schröder dunk shortly before half-time had the German bench cheering loudly. The playmaker had previously worked a lot off the ball. The role players Daniel Theis and Andreas Obst, who were outstanding in the semi-finals, had more difficulty finding their way into the intense game.
The final remained competitive. Germany pulled away for the first time in the third quarter, but Serbia came back. Leader Schröder increasingly took control of the game. With his enormous speed and great determination, the playmaker tried to finally crown his almost nine-year career in the national jersey. “I’m trying to put basketball Germany on the map,” Schröder said. This was achieved in an outstanding manner with the World Cup title in Manila.
After the final, Schröder was given a special honor: the world champion captain was voted the most valuable player of the Basketball World Cup. With the coveted award, the 29-year-old playmaker follows greats such as Shaquille O’Neal (1994), Dirk Nowitzki (2002), Pau Gasol (2006) and Kevin Durant (2010). Four years ago, the Spaniard Ricky Rubio was voted the best player.
Schröder’s teammates were jumping up and down a few meters away. He himself greeted the audience in disbelief. The German captain received the trophy from former NBA star Carmelo Anthony. It is the most important individual award in Schröder’s career.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.