We celebrate the best ever World Cup by recapping the top 10 games.
1. Poland vs Serbia men's bronze medal
There was plenty on the line. A Bronze medal. A place in the Olympic qualifying tournament. And, quite fittingly, the game was crazier than Christian Bale in American Psycho.
In winning time, there is no one better than Michael Hicks aka Money in the Bank who cashed out on Serbia. His dagger has to be watched multiple times to be believed and he finished with an incredible 13 points and 8 rebounds to knock out the four-time champs.
2. China vs Australia women’s semi-final
No.1 ranked China were probably not favorites coming into the semi-finals considering Australia had absolutely owned them at the Asia Cup. But, to be fair, the Aussies had owned almost everyone in recent times.
But China held the edge for most of the game until Australia predictably fought back thanks largely to the clutch play of Bec Cole. The final, frantic moments contained some of the most jaw-dropping defensive plays you’ll ever see but that was just the entrée.
In overtime, ZhiTing Zhang went from villain to hero in seconds and China finally beat Australia.
3. Hungary vs Spain women’s quarter-final
This just had to make it the top three. How could it not? There was not one but two Tissot Buzzer Beaters in a quarter-final for the ages.
A cold-blooded Sandra Ygueravide gave favorites Spain a pulse to send the game to overtime but this game was just heating up. After Aitana Cuevas missed the bunny, Dora Medgyessy became a Hungarian hero when she nailed the game-winner.
4. Serbia vs Latvia men’s semi-final
You just knew this would be epic. Two proud Eastern European powerhouses going at it. But Latvia threatened to make this surprisingly one-sided with Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis – aka Batman and Robin – playing superhero to give Latvia a decisive 9-point lead.
Of course, Serbia roared like Djokovic after a winner and this became an instant classic. With so many stars on the court, it was Miezis who put on his cape and delivered Latvia their best ever World Cup victory.
5. USA vs Serbia (men)
At World Cups, No.1 seeds Serbia have more Ws than the World Wide Web. They had won the last three events but the USA were not threatened. In a sign of things to come, Robbie Hummel heated up from downtown and proved too much for Serbia who were slightly sluggish by their usual brilliant standards.
In maybe a changing of the guard, USA snapped Serbia’s 15-game winning streak in the first step towards the title.
6. Australia vs Japan (women)
Japan looked on course for revenge after losing to Australia in the final of the Women’s Series Chengdu Stop. Until Maddie Garrick stepped in. She hadn’t scored a bucket all game, missing all five attempts, until nailing the two-piece to deliver Australia another thrilling victory over their rivals.
7. USA vs Latvia’s men’s final
Finales can often be anti-climactic – hello, Game of Thrones! – but thankfully this did not disappoint. The stars came to play. American sniper Damon Huffman found the range early to even outshine MVP Robbie Hummel. Kareem Maddox did his usual thing around the rim.
Latvia might have fallen short but they were far from disgraced. Karlis Lasmanis had his usual spectacular take-off and Nauris Miezis was up to his old tricks beyond the arc.
It was a worthy finale to a great tournament.
8. Netherlands vs China (women)
The Netherlands were the 2017 semi-finalists but faced an early exit in front of a sea of orange, who were louder than your neighbor's hoover. A clutch JiaYin Jiang broke the deadlock with 30 seconds left and Natalie van den Adel could not equalize.
Jill Bettonvil had one last chance to be the biggest Dutch hero since football legend Marco Van Basten but her heave missed the mark.
9. France vs Australia (women)
These teams would play off for Bronze but their best encounter was in the pool stage. Australia had a 17-game winning streak heading into the game but France had them in lockdown to prevail in a clash between two titans of women’s 3x3.
10. Korea vs Turkey (men)
Korea wasn’t messing around. They wanted to get this done quicker than Shaq’s acting career. And with Minsu Park and Minseob Kim combining for seven two-pieces, this was over in a flash.
In just 5 minutes and 31 seconds, this was the Tissot Fastest Game of the Tournament.