MADRID: US will attempt to become the first repeat world champions since 2002 and tie the mark for the most titles when they take on Serbia in Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) final of the 2014 World Cup.
The Americans come into the title game against Serbia with a perfect 8-0 and an average winning margin of 32.5 points. The closest result was their 21-point win over Turkey in the group stage.
Many US players admitted they were surprised that Spain lost to France in the quarterfinals and were even hoping to face off against Spain in the final. But they said they will not take Serbia lightly.
“We’re not going to take anyone lightly, which we haven’t thus far. We’ll go out there and have fun playing basketball,” said Anthony Davis.
Serbia meanwhile took a strange route to the final—losing to France, Brazil and Spain in the group stage to finish fourth.
They then blasted past Greece and Brazil before surviving a 35-point barrage from Nicolas Batum and a valiant comeback from 18 points down to two in the fourth quarter in a 90-85 win over France in the semis.
“I don’t do any judgement, but it’s a special game. Finals are always a special game, especially in a big competition,” said Serbia’s Miroslav Raduljica about playing in the final.
The Milwaukee Bucks big man and fellow leader Stefan Markovic both have a history of beating US star guard Stephen Curry in a FIBA title game as Serbia knocked off the Americans 74-69 in the final of the 2007 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.