The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup

The FIBA World Cup was hosted by multiple countries for the first time in its history. The host countries were the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. The tournament kicked off on the 25th of August and concluded on the 10th of September.


Underdogs Germany emerged as champions. They went unbeaten throughout the tournament, with convincing victories in the first and second rounds and narrow victories against Latvia and the USA, with the latter a major upset.

The unlikely winners have only had a podium finish once in their history, a bronze medal back in 2002. They had a decent showing at the 2022 Eurobasket tournament kicking on from there. They were led by an unstoppable Dennis Schroeder, who at the time of the 2022 Eurobasket tournament was an NBA free agent but used his showing in the competition to bag an NBA veteran’s minimum contract with the Lakers whom he helped to the Western Conference finals. 

Dennis Schroeder

He was imperious in this tournament, finishing as the World Cup MVP, with his game-high 28 points in the final, with five coming in the final minute, helping Germany to an 83-77 victory against Serbia.

Serbia did well enough to get to the final in the absence of Nikola Jokic, who turned down the chance to represent his country, taking some time off after helping the Denver Nuggets to the NBA title in June. They also lost reserve forward Borisa Simanic after he ended up requiring emergency kidney surgery following an injury sustained in a game against South Sudan.  

USA Fall Short Again

The semi-final stage had some dreaming of a match-up between the USA and Canada in the final. They got their wish but not in the way they would have expected. Both teams lost their semi-final bouts, leaving them to battle it out for the bronze medal. 

The USA failed to reach the championship game for the second time in a row. They came into the tournament as favourites and failed to win three out of their final four games. 

“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.” 

They also failed to win a medal, losing to their North American neighbours, Canada, in overtime of the third-place match. This is the second consecutive time that Team USA has failed to be medaled at the FIBA World Cup.

Canada on the other hand won their first medal at a global men’s tournament since 1936. They will hope this will be the start of a period of dominance and here’s what their coach had to say after the game; “This team was amazing, special,” Canada coach Jordi Fernandez said. “It’s the beginning of something that’s going to last for a long time.”


The semi-finalists are all represented in the All-Star 5 with Luca Doncic the only player from a team outside of the top 4, down to his impressive outings and finishing as the tournament’s Top Scorer.

Germany asked their best players to commit to a 3-year plan. Two years into that plan, they find themselves with the World Cup trophy and will certainly have their eyes on the Olympics next year. Serbia, having reached two finals in the last three tournaments, have been unsuccessful at getting their hands on the trophy on both attempts. They’d be left to wonder what could have been if Jokic had been around. As for the USA, though this is their second consecutive time going without a medal, it is an improvement on their last showing where they finished seventh at the 2019 World Cup. 

Next year, Paris will be hosting the Olympics where these teams will be battling it out all over again.

Ifeanyichukwu Achife


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