After another thriller in Manila, Bogdan Bogdanovic has helped bring the Serbian national men’s basketball team to the doorsteps of an international gold medal.
On Friday, Serbia faced off against Canada in the first semifinal of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. After jumping out to a 52-39 halftime lead, Serbia held on in the second half to win and advance, 95-86.
Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic once again led the charge for Serbia, dropping in 23 points, four rebounds and three assists. ‘Bogi’ continued to light it up from all three levels, putting in 8-of-12 (67%) of shots from the floor, 3-of-4 (75%) from three and adding 4-for-5 (80%) shooting from the free throw line. The game marks the fourth consecutive game that Bogdanovic has led his national team in scoring throughout this tournament run.
Canada boasts a number of current NBA star players, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, and RJ Barrett, so the game never looked be easy for the Serbs — especially sans all-world player Nikola Jokic. But Serbia leaned on their defense in this contest, holding Canada to just 27-for-56 (48%) shooting from the floor.
In the other semifinal, the US men’s national basketball team fell to Germany in a heartbreaker, 113-111. Former Hawk Dennis Schroder bounced back from a rough shooting outing the previous game to contribute 17 points on 7-of-13 (54%) shooting in an upset victory.
While Germany has never won the tournament in their history, this would be Serbia’s first tournament gold in the FIBA World Cup since they competed as FR Yugoslavia, which comprised the nations of Serbia and Montenegro. That team won back-to-back titles in 1998 and 2002 before severing into two seperate national teams after the 2006 tournament edition.
The final will be held on Sunday, September 10th with tipoff slated for 8:40 PM local time and 8:40 AM Eastern Time in the US.