INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Dejan Bodiroga ignited a comeback in the final moments of regulation Sunday and Yugoslavia took charge in overtime to win the World Basketball Championship for the fifth time with an 84-77 victory over Argentina.
Regulation time ended in controversy as Argentina's Hugo Sconochini was slammed to the court as he drove in for an attempt at a game-winning layup. No foul was called, however, leaving the Argentine players and coaching staff stunned.
Argentina owned a 74-66 lead with 2:31 remaining, but did not make another basket in regulation. Bodiroga scored nine points in the final 2:16, including a pair of free throws that tied the score at 75-75 with 17.4 seconds left.
Yugoslavia then forced a turnover with fullcourt pressure and Argentina's Luis Scola was called for a foul when he tried to regain the ball from Vlade Divac. The NBA veteran, with the chance to win the game at the free throw line, missed both with 5.9 seconds remaining.
Sconochini then drove the length of the floor and appeared to be fouled twice on his way to the basket. The second of the collisions sent Sconochini sprawling.
When no call was forthcoming, members of the Argentina coaching staff reached into their pockets several times in the international gesture that alleges bribery.
Perhaps upset by the frustrating finish, Argentina went cold in the extra period, missing all eight field goal attempts while Yugoslavia took charge.
A three-pointer by Peja Stojakovic put Yugoslavia ahead to stay, 78-75, and Bodiroga added a pair of free throws to make it 80-75 with 2:16 remaining.
Argentina's only scoring in overtime came on a pair of free throws by Fabricio Oberto that cut the deficit to 80-77 with 45.8 seconds left. Ruben Wolkowyski then blocked Vlade Divac's driving shot to give Argentina one last shot, but Alejandro Montecchio's three-point attempt missed and Yugoslavia sealed the game at the free-throw line.
"A great win against a great team," said Yugoslavia Coach Svetislav Pesic. "Early we lost two games before I settled on who was going to play when itwas important. Bodiroga and Stojakovic won the game for us."
Stojakovic scored 26 for Yugoslavia. Argentina, which was unbeaten in the tournament prior to the championship game, was led by Oberto with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Wolkowyski and Luis Scola scored 11 each and Leandro Palladino 10.
Argentina star Emanuel Ginobili, who injured his right ankle in the semifinal victory over Germany, was unable to score in just 12 minutes of play.
Yugoslavia became the first country to win back-to-back titles since Brazil in 1959 and 1963.
"I am proud of my team, my players and my country," said Argentina Coach Ruben Magnano. "At the end of regulation, maybe they could have called a foul
which would have given us a chance to win.
"But the officials wanted the players to decide the game. We are disappointed and I think if Manu Ginobili hadn't been hurt, he would have 15 points and we could have won."
Germany, meanwhile, won its first World Championship medal by claiming the bronze with a 117-94 victory over New Zealand.
"This is my fifth year in Germany," said German Coach Henrik Dettmann, a native of Finland. "In my opinion, the way the game is developing, the team that is winning today on this level is always the best team you ever had.
"Today we proved we were worth a medal and I thought we played very good basketball, especially in the three first quarters."
Germany shot 65.1 percent to New Zealand's 44 percent.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and had eight rebounds in 23 minutes. He led the tournament in scoring with an average of 25 points per game and was named MVP for the event.
"We finally won a medal for Germany, which should hype the program back home," said Nowitzki, an All-Star with the Dallas Mavericks. "We beat all the teams we
are supposed to be better than, but lost to the big teams -- the United tates and Argentina. This was a great tournament."
The United States, unbeaten with NBA players since pros began playing at the 1992 Olympics, lost three times in this tournament to finish sixth. Nowitzki said he expected to see the best American players show up for the 2004 Olympics.
"I think at the Olympics, Shaq (Shaqille O'Neal), Kobe (Bryant) and Tim Duncan will all come and play for the U.S.," he said.