Basketball EM: German team reaches quarterfinals – sport

The German basketball players have the compulsory task Montenegro mastered lackluster and even briefly had to tremble for the European Championship quarter-finals. After the festival week in Cologne, the team around captain Dennis Schröder struggled to a 85:79 (48:24) in the round of 16, on Tuesday in Berlin on the way to the dreamed medal either against the Czech Republic or against Greece with the NBA exceptional professional Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Schröder and Daniel Theis returned to the starting five after national coach Gordon Herbert rested both in the last group game against Hungary (106:71). Nick Weiler-Babb was absent again due to shoulder problems, Andreas Obst stood in for the American-born. "I hope that we can live up to the role of favourites. If we get in well, then we should actually win," said German basketball idol Dirk Nowitzki before the game started, the team finally had "enough self-confidence in the preliminary round with four wins from five games " collected.

There was actually no trace of nervousness, the German team started highly concentrated. After major problems in the tournament so far, Schröder scored his first three straight away, quickly making it 11:2 (4th minute). Because of many minor mistakes on offense, the opponent got into the game better and got a little closer, but the phase only lasted for a short time. Maodo Lo and Johannes Thiemann from Berlin brought a lot of energy from the bench, and the hosts dominated the rebounds in front of 12,938 spectators.

Franz Wagner injures himself and follows the last quarter with a thick ice pack on his foot

In only their third international match against the Montenegrins, after two defeats before that, Herbert's protégés had everything under control and kept pulling away. The lead was in double digits early on (21:10/11.), before the break it was more than 20 points for the first time (40:19/18.). Schröder's shot didn't fall, but the playmaker directed it cleverly and repeatedly staged his teammates in a way that was well worth seeing. When going into the dressing room, the man from Braunschweig had seven assists.

From the stands, EM ambassador Nowitzki saw a complete false start to the second half, with Montenegro closing in on 14 points with a 13-0 run. Top scorer Schröder (22 points) hit an important three-pointer to make it 56:40, but the rhythm was completely gone. Then Franz Wagner (14 points) injured his right ankle and followed the last quarter with a thick ice pack on his foot. And it got exciting. Montenegro shortened the lead to 77:80 (40th minute) with another run.

Only late on Sunday evening (8.45 p.m. / MagentaSport) will it be decided against whom the semi-final ticket is at stake. The German team will probably have a much bigger caliber, the Greeks are the clear favorites against the Czechs in the last round of 16. The DBB team is in the quarterfinals for the second time in a row. In 2017, a defeat against Spain (72:84) prevented them from reaching the semifinals. The third European Championship medal after gold in 1993 and silver in 2005 is to be in Berlin.

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