After the basketball coup in front of 18,000 euphoric fans, Dennis Schröder and Co. were in a great mood.
The professionals around the currently clubless captain and young NBA star Franz Wagner completed interview after interview after they celebrated the 76:63 victory over Olympic silver medalist France with the supporters in the arena in Cologne at the start of the European Championship. "I think the best team wins here and not the team with the best individual players. The team chemistry is good, so it's a lot of fun," said Wagner. Suddenly there was no more talk of the many cancellations and the turbulence during the preparation.
Because the team of national coach Gordon Herbert works as a collective. Bankers Johannes Thiemann, Maodo Lo and Niels Giffey led the team in defeating pre-tournament co-favourites France.
Lo's performance was so impressive that Captain Schröder had extra praise for the man from Alba Berlin: "Maodo is the next German player in the NBA." Coach Herbert said that he had discussed this question with another coach some time ago: "We were wondering why he is still in Berlin."
The clear victories over Slovenia and Luka Doncic in the World Cup qualifiers and now against France make Germany dream of their first medal since 2005. "We can play a good tournament. We can play games like today or against Slovenia. But there are still so many details open. We have a blatant push from this home tournament," said banker Giffey, who scored 13 points and how Thiemann (14), Lo (13) and Schröder (11) scored double digits.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, who also started with a win in Cologne, is now waiting on Saturday (2.30 p.m. / Magentasport). Coach Herbert seemed a little surprised when he was immediately confronted with the next opponent after the success. "We have no information. My focus was 100 percent on France," said the 63-year-old, who is playing his first major tournament with Germany. After the encounter with France's Rudy Gobert, the next strong NBA center is waiting for the host in Jusuf Nurkic.