The United States and Canada engaged in an exhilarating match in front of a crowd of 10,666 spectators at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
The Third Place Game went into overtime, a rarity since 1990, concluding with Canada emerging victorious by a score of 127-118.
This marked a historic moment for Canada in international basketball, as they secured their most significant achievement and earned their first medal in the history of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Conversely, the United States failed to secure a podium finish in consecutive World Cup events for the first time since 1963, 1967, and 1970.
As the game neared its end in the fourth quarter, it appeared to be all but settled when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander executed his signature midrange pull-up shot, and Dillon Brooks sealed the deal with a pair of free throws, giving Canada a four-point lead with only seconds remaining.
However, Mikal Bridges had an astonishing move in his repertoire.
He executed an incredible play from the free-throw line, sinking the first shot intentionally, missing the second, but then seizing his own rebound and sinking a three-pointer from the corner, tying the score at 111-111 with a mere 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
“Coach told me to miss the second one. I tried to miss it to the right, that’s where you want the ball in situations like that and I just read and reacted. I knew it was low time so I just went and shot it,” Bridges explained after the game.
Kelly Olynyk had the last attempt for Canada, launching a deep three-pointer that seemed to be heading for the target but ultimately rebounded off the rim, resulting in the game going into overtime.
It was during this extra period that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander once again seized control, with some assistance from Dillon Brooks.
Shai’s consecutive scoring plays were followed by back-to-back baskets from Brooks, giving Canada a 121-115 advantage with just two minutes remaining in overtime.
This proved to be an insurmountable lead, even for a player as talented as Mikal Bridges.
Watch the game highlights between USA and Canada in the Game for 3rd Place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: