Serbia emerged victorious in the World Cup semifinals, defeating Canada 95-86. The showdown, which took place on Friday, has now paved the way for Serbia to vie for the coveted gold medal at the Basketball World Cup.
Bogdanovic's Impressive Play and Team Spirit Shine Through
Bogdan Bogdanovic, the star player of the evening, netted 23 points.
It was not just about one player though; Serbia's outstanding teamwork was evident. Ognjen Dobric and Nikola Milutinov contributed significantly with 16 points each. Serbia has been in exceptional form throughout the tournament.
They entered the day boasting a 55% shooting rate, only to up their game and achieve an impressive 62% shooting rate against Canada. Marko Guduric, a proud member of the Serbian squad, expressed his team's undying spirit, stating, "It doesn't matter who's not here.
It's all about this group of guys, whoever is here, whoever is wearing this Serbian jersey. We never give up. We fight until the end. It's in our blood." Their tenacity and spirit resonated with Filip Petrusev's sentiments, "Nobody believed but we didn't care about anybody.
We just had fun with each other. It's a great group of guys, great chemistry, and when you have good chemistry and great players, anything can happen. We believed and we're here."
Canada's Valiant Effort
Canada (5-2) gave a commendable fight.
RJ Barrett mirrored Bogdanovic's score with 23 points. However, the Canadian dream of reaching the World Cup final for the first time remains unfulfilled. Dillon Brooks and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showcased their prowess with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Though Gilgeous-Alexander's performance was noteworthy, it was 10 points below his tournament average leading up to the semifinals. In acknowledging the victors, Barrett commended, "Credit to Serbia. They played a great game.
They played hard, they played physical, they're very well-coached and disciplined. Got to give them credit for that." While proud of his team's overall journey, Canada's coach Jordi Fernandez candidly remarked, "It was not perfect.
We were OK offensively. We were atrocious defensively. When a team shoots 62% from the field and 45% from 3, obviously something was not done well and we didn't prepare well enough for the game."
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