Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz sent congratulations to the basketball players, the EM winners around captain Dennis Schröder and Maodo Lo treated themselves to a stay in the ice barrel.
"I'm actually still cold. I was in the ice bath. It's rare that I do that. Today I was actually quite deep in the ice bath. Hopefully it helps," said Lo on Friday at the press conference in Cologne. The clear 76:63 against France, who came second in the Olympics, also put people in a good mood during the day - and fueled confidence for the game on Saturday (2:30 p.m. / Magentasport) against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
"Congratulations on yesterday's opening win @DBB_Basketball! I'll keep my fingers crossed for the rest of the tournament!" Chancellor Scholz wrote on Twitter. After the huge party, Schröder and Co. feel ready for more great deeds. "It was a perfect evening," said the German captain after the victory, which was not thought possible at this level, in front of 18,000 completely euphoric spectators in Cologne's Lanxess Arena.
For the German team, which had been shaken by numerous personnel setbacks in the run-up, it was the desired start on the way to the longed-for first medal in 17 years - and the goal of making German basketball socially acceptable again internationally. "We have the chance to put Germany on the map," said national coach Gordon Herbert, who, despite the impressive performance, is usually calm and analytical.
The coach is proud
A day after the game, he said: "I'm proud of how we got into the game. We weren't scared. You can fail, but you have to try." The 63-year-old described that he did not receive many congratulations because, unlike his players, he was not on social media. "I'm too old for this. I have no idea how to get on Twitter."
Together with his old Alba colleagues Lo, Johannes Thiemann and Franz Wagner, Giffey embodied a joy and lightness that the German team can carry through the European Championship together with the enthusiastic fans. A scene by the outstanding Lo at the beginning of the second half best illustrated the great German enthusiasm for the game.
Lo with highlight
During a counterattack, the outstanding Alba point guard played the ball behind his back and then spectacularly served Schröder under the basket. "I've never made the move before. I just felt it at that moment," said Lo at Magentasport.
With this feeling of lightness, the team from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were also victorious at the start, are looking for their second win. Because despite the first exclamation mark on the European competition, the group with heavyweights like Slovenia and Lithuania remains complicated. As early as 2013, Germany started a European Championship by beating France - and was eliminated after embarrassing defeats against basketball midgets like Great Britain and Belgium.
The danger of a repetition seems rather small this time. The German selection is too consolidated and closed these days. "I think the best team wins here and not the team with the best individual players," said NBA professional Wagner after his European Championship debut. "The team chemistry is good, so it's extremely fun." All twelve players were in training on Friday and worked hard before the next task.
Basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki also had fun in the stands. The emotional jersey ceremony for the exceptional athlete in the presence of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before the game gave his successors in the Germany jersey additional energy. "We all love him," Giffey said.