The FIBA World Cup semifinal between Germany and the USA was nothing short of epic and is already being touted as the greatest FIBA game of all time.

Both teams battled back-and-forth over the first half before Germany pulled away in the third quarter. Team USA charged back in the fourth quarter with the crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena egging them on, but their rally ultimately fell short. The Germans survived the USA’s comeback attempt as they led by two points, 113-111, with 0.5 seconds remaining.

Germany just had to successfully inbound the ball to secure the win and head coach Gordon Herbert wisely called a timeout to settle his team down.

Coming out of the huddle, Germany’s Johannes Voigtmann successfully inbounded the ball to Dennis Schroder who then flung the ball in the air as the buzzer sounded–creating the most iconic moment in the country’s basketball history to date.

It was actually quite fitting that it was the 29-year-old Schroder who starred in this last sequence as he has been the constant in Germany’s return to prominence over the past decade. Since Schroder first suited up for the senior team in 2014, the team has gone from finishing 18th in EuroBasket back in 2015 to a bronze medal in last year’s edition.

Now, they are on the cusp of winning the 2023 FIBA World Cup and there is no doubt that they could not have made it this far without their premier point guard. Though Schroder may no longer be Germany’s undisputed best player with the rise of Franz Wagner, he remains the team’s heart and soul.

Schroder bounced back from an atrocious shooting performance in the quarterfinals and finished the evening with 17 points on seven-of-13 field goal shooting. He also had three three-pointers, two rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and an impressive zero turnovers in 33 minutes of playing time.

The real star of the night for Germany though was EuroLeague veteran Andreas Obst who led the team with 24 points. The 27-year-old guard made four three-pointers during the match, with his last one being the most consequential one as it gave Germany a four-point cushion, 111-107, with 1:14 remaining in the final period.

Following the win, Voigtmann called Obst the best shooter on the planet and while this may be a bit of a stretch given that Steph Curry is still a resident of this world, this game made it clear that the German guard, at the very least, deserves a spot in the discussion.

The win would not have been possible as well without Wagner and NBA veteran Daniel Theis who scored 22 and 21 points, respectively. Wagner and Theis were the architects behind Germany’s second half run that built them a 12-point lead where they stunned Team USA with their relentless attack.

Until Anthony Edwards took over for the USA late in the fourth quarter, the 22-year-old Wagner looked like the clear cut best player on the court as he dazzled the crowd with an array of crafty moves and strong finishes.

Germany came into this World Cup as the 11th ranked team in the FIBA rankings, although they should be favored coming into the gold medal game against Serbia. They are the only undefeated team with a 7-0 record and their breathtaking play versus the USA was further proof of their mettle. This is a team with spectacular balance and immense depth which may be too much for a Serbia team that is playing without two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic.

Another factor working in Germany’s favor is that they are used to Serbia’s European style of play being from the same continent themselves. Serbia overwhelmed Canada with their physicality, but this will not faze Germany.

German basketball is all set to begin its own golden age with this up-and-coming team. This is a young group that could potentially play together for the next two World Cup cycles which gives them an enviable continuity that many programs do not have. Furthermore, Wagner is quickly rising to stardom and provides them with a world class player to build around.

Though winning the gold medal in this tournament will be the perfect way to kick off this golden age, Germany has already achieved their best finish in a FIBA World Cup as they have exceeded their bronze medal finish in 2002.

They have already made history, albeit it is clear that for this team, the best is yet to come.