Team Canada’s quest for gold at the 2023 FIBA World Cup has officially come to an end.
They fall short to Serbia 95-86 in the semifinals. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Serbia to victory with 23 points.
Even without their best player Nikola Jokic, Serbia is going to play for gold:
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) September 8, 2023
RJ Barrett led the way for Canada with 23 points and Dillon Brooks chipped in with 16 of his own.
Canada’s best player all tournament Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with just 15 points, 10 points below his tournament average entering the game.
Serbia was sharp in this one, shooting 62 percent in the game, including 45 percent from three-point land. Canada only shot it 48 percent from the floor and 37 percent from deep.
Serbia had the lead for all but 2:47 of the game. They feasted off of Canada’s early foul trouble as all five of Canada’s starters had at least two fouls entering halftime. Gilgeous-Alexander had three:
🇨🇦 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander after the first half vs 🇷🇸 Serbia:
— BasketNews (@BasketNews_com) September 8, 2023
Canada ended the game with 25 fouls to Serbia’s 22.
Serbia’s lead grew to as many as 15 late in the half. Canada had come back from 12-point deficits against Latvia and Spain to win those games, but couldn’t do it again this time versus Serbia.
What’s up next for Team Canada?
Team Canada has a date with Team USA in the bronze medal game. Team USA was upset by Team Germany led by Raptors’ guard Dennis Schroder. Schroder bounced back with 17 points and 9 assists in the win.
Many thought the Team Canada vs Team USA showdown would’ve happened in the gold medal game, but instead it will take place in the third place game.
While it’s disappointing that Canada won’t have a chance to win gold, they still have a chance to make history.
Not only can they make a statement by defeating the United States, but with a bronze medal win Canada will have their most significant international medal since winning silver at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
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