MANILA: Germany have a date with destiny after reaching their first men's basketball World Cup final by defeating an under-strength United States 113-111 in a classic semifinal on Friday.
The unbeaten Germans will meet Serbia in Sunday's final after Bayern Munich's Andreas Obst did most of the damage in Manila, scoring a game-high 24 points including a key late three-pointer.
"It was the coolest game and the most important game," Obst told Magenta. "We wanted to play fast... and it worked."
Germany were in their first semifinal in 21 years, having lost to Argentina in 2002 with tournament MVP Dirk Nowitzki on the team.
New star Dennis Schroder of the Toronto Raptors clashed with Germany coach Gordon Herbert court side earlier in the tournament and was not at his best in the quarterfinal win over Latvia.
He also failed to really shine against the Americans in a high-tempo game but Orlando Magic's Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis of the Indiana Pacers picked up the slack alongside the superb Obst.
"We have some great guys there. We fought until the absolute end," said Wagner. "It is very, very special and now we have to go win the title."
Five-time champions the US were without many of their NBA stars as per usual for a World Cup which is little respected in the country, but they still held their own in a roller-coaster contest.
Germany had led in the first quarter but headed in at half-time with the US leading 60-59.
The US then lost ball possession too easily in the third quarter, allowing Germany to retake the lead and pull away before a late US rally in the final quarter. The combined score was the highest ever in a World Cup semifinal.
Serbia earlier overcame favourites Canada 95-86, also in the Philippines capital, which will host the final.
The Serbians - gold medal winners in 1998 and 2002 as the former Yugoslavia - are led by 74-year-old coach Svetislav Pesic, who was also in charge 21 years ago.
"I am very proud of my players and my team," he told reporters. "This is a great victory. We defended very well. Finals are finals, it doesn't matter who we face."
Serbia, up 52-39 at half-time, were led impeccably by captain Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Atlanta Hawks. He top-scored with 23 points as his team again belied the fact NBA superstar Nikola Jokic is missing. -- dpa