Basketball EM: Ready for the next stage: basketball players want to rock Berlin


Basketball EM
Ready for the next stage: basketball players want to rock Berlin

Now they want to rock Berlin too: With a tailwind, the German basketball players are going to the European Championship finals in Berlin.  Photo: Marius Beck

Now they want to rock Berlin too: With a tailwind, the German basketball players are going to the European Championship finals in Berlin. photo

© Marius Becker/dpa

Cologne is history, now comes Berlin! After a strong preliminary round, Schröder and Co. are looking forward to the continuation in the capital. The pressure is increasing, but this team does not know fear.

Sunglass wearers Dennis Schröder and Co. left rainy Cologne with the very best memories - and full of enthusiasm for what was to come in the fight for medals in the final round of the European Championships Berlin pending.

"We're looking forward to the next stage," said the national basketball coach Gordon Herbert after the brilliantly mastered preliminary round, which Germany survived in the hammer group in second place behind defending champion Slovenia around superstar Luka Doncic.

"It was by far the hardest group. I'm very happy with second place," said Herbert after the 106:71 finish over Hungary. After the short domestic flight from Cologne After Berlin, where all four teams qualified from Group B competed together, the euphoric preliminary round was immediately completed. The focus is now entirely on the round of 16 against outsiders Montenegro on September 10 (6 p.m. / Magentasport).

Good starting position for the knockout stage

"We did a lot of things right and we're in a good position to go into the knockout stages. This one preliminary round we can definitely build up," said Johannes Thiemann from Alba Berlin. Above all, the victories over co-favorites France and Lithuania will give momentum so that the self-proclaimed goal of the European Championship medal works out. There was precious metal for the last time in a tournament 2005, when Dirk Nowitzki and Co. won EM silver.

"I'm really looking forward to Berlin. The teams are definitely getting better, so we're looking forward to it," said the NBA professional Franz Wagner, who has long since won the hearts of German basketball fans with his carefree style of play and strong performances. In his home town, the 21-year-old now wants to go one step further. "I'm really in the mood for it," said Wagner.

Basketball players now also want to rock Berlin

Before the targeted preparation for the round of 16 against Montenegro starts on Friday, Wagner and Co. enjoyed a largely free day. If you wanted, you could throw a few balls at the basket during a relaxed training session a few hours after arriving in the capital - otherwise regeneration and care were on the agenda.

Herbert had already rested his stars Schröder and Daniel Theis against Hungary. But Nick Weiler-Babb, who flew back to Munich to be examined there because of shoulder problems, is a cause for concern. The use of the Bayern professional, who was only naturalized shortly before the tournament, against Montenegro is very questionable.

A failure of the defensive specialist would be bitter, but the German team has already proven throughout the summer that it can deal with personal setbacks. And the Cologne days showed that the depth of the squad can be a big plus. In the meaningless game against Hungary Justus Hollatz and above all Christian Sengfelder jumped in. The fact that the duo had hardly acted before didn't matter. "These are all experiences that I will never forget and I will tell my grandchildren about them," said Sengfelder, who immediately promoted himself to the best pitcher.

Schröder and Co. now want to rock Berlin with this unity. The German team isn't scared that there could be a duel with Greece and NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in the quarter-finals. "With France, Slovenia and Lithuania we had three of the best teams in the world in our group," said Herbert. "This team is special."

dpa



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