MANILA, Philippines– Team USA was defeated in the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup by Germany, 113-111 on Friday, September 8 in the Philippines.
The US was considered to be the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup and took a strong team to the Philippines. Germany took advantage of our lackadaisical defense, while out rebounding an undersized United States roster.
As expected, the semifinal match-up got off to a tight start. Neither team was able to take control throughout the opening two quarters with the US taking a slight 60-59 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, everything began to unravel for the United States.Germany outscored the US 35-24 in the third quarter and took a crucial 10-point lead into the final 10 minutes of the semifinal clash.
The U.S. played a spirited and aggressive game. The team was just too small, and it showed up repeatedly, just as it did against Lithuania last weekend in the previous loss.
Germany was simply able to get more chances to score because it often was able to get the ball back when it missed. The Germans pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, leading to 25 second-chance points (Team USA had eight).
Led by Anthony Edwards and Austin Reaves, Team USA rallied in the fourth and a final quarter comeback looked to be on, Edwards knocked down a critical three pointer cutting Germanys lead to a point, 107-106.
But a 3-pointer by Germany’s Andreas Obst, that last of his 24 points and four 3-pointers, held off the American charge.
Germany held on resolutely, making key plays in the clutch, to book a spot in the FIBA Basketball World Cup final.
Packing the paint defensively to try to deal with the size issue led to the Germans getting some good looks from outside, and they made the U.S. pay, nailing 13 of 30 3-pointers.
This led to Germany shooting a sizzling 58% overall and racking up 50 points in the paint.
Despite taking a team full of NBA stars including Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Brunson, it marks the second consecutive World Cup where the US has failed to reach the championship game.
“Terrible. Plain and simple,” Brunson told reporters of his performance against Germany.
“We knew the task at hand, that was to go and win and we didn’t do that,” Reaves added following the defeat.
“The game has been globalized over the last 30 years or so. These games are difficult. This is not 1992 anymore,” US head coach Steve Kerr told reporters postgame. “Players are better all over the world. Teams are better. It’s not easy to win a World Cup or an Olympic Games.”
The Germany team boasted a host of NBA players with Dennis Schröder, Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis playing key roles throughout Germany’s World Cup run and the semifinal win.
Germany will now face Serbia in the World Cup final with the US having to settle for a third-place playoff game against Canada.