The dream is alive for Serbia and Canada, who are each just a win away from punching a ticket to the finals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Which team will book a spot in the title game?

Catch this game live on Friday, September 8, at 4:45 PM, Manila time

Serbia (5-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Stefan Jovic
  • SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • SF: Ognjen Dobric
  • PF: Nikola Jovic
  • C: Nikola Milutinov

In a sense, Serbia are the man who beat the man…who beat the man. That was when they showed Lithuania the exit in last Tuesday’s 87-76*- victory over the team that handed Team USA’s first (and only, so far) loss in the tournament. Outside of their loss to Italy, the Serbians have done nothing but dominate in the tournament with big wins as well against the likes of the Dominican Republic (112-79), South Sudan (115-83), and Puerto Rico (94-77). That upset loss to Italy probably had a lot to do more about a teammate getting seriously injured and affecting the team. But nothing speaks louder about Serbia’s return to top form than their blowout of Lithuania. 

Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is leading Serbia with 18.8 points per game while shooting a solid 49.3 FG%. Another notable player for Serbia is Miami Heat’s Nikola Jovic, who’s putting up 10.7 PPG, while also making 1.7 3-pointers per game on 45.5% accuracy. Each of the four Serbian players who are making at least 1.0 3-pointers per game is shooting no worse than 37.2% from deep.

Canada (5-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SG: R.J. Barrett
  • SF: Dillon Brooks
  • PF: Dwight Powell
  • C: Kelly Olynyk

Following their humbling 69-65 loss to Brazil, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and company rebounded with a strong statement victory, as they defeated Spain (88-85). Then they followed that up by sending Luka Doncic and Slovenia crashing out of title contention with a 100-89 victory. As expected, Gilgeous-Alexander put on a show for Canada in the Slovenia game, as he scored 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out four assists. 

However, SGA is not the be-all and end-all for Canada. R.J. Barrett, Dillon Brooks, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker are providing ample support for Gilgeous-Alexander, who is dropping 25.0 PPG. Brooks and Lu Dort can take care of business defending against Bogdanovic. Those are two tough defenders Canada have the luxury of throwing at Serbia’s most dreaded shooter. They also have a pair of blue-collar big men in Dwight Powell and Kelly Olynyk.


Spread: Serbia (+5.5) cover the spread. 

Over/Under: The total (176.5) hits the Under.