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

Sunglass wearers Dennis Schröder and Co.

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

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

"We're looking forward to the next stage," said national basketball coach Gordon Herbert after the brilliantly mastered preliminary round, which Germany came second in the hammer group 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 to Berlin, which all four teams qualified from Group B competed together, the euphoric preliminary round was completed immediately. 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 round

"We did a lot of things right and are in a good starting position for the knockout stages. We can definitely build on this preliminary round," said Johannes Thiemann from Alba Berlin. Above all, the victories over the co-favorites France and Lithuania will give momentum so that the self-proclaimed goal of the European Championship medal works out. The last time there was precious metal at a tournament was in 2005, when Dirk Nowitzki and Co. won silver at the European Championships.

"I'm really looking forward to Berlin. The teams are definitely getting better, so we're looking forward to it," said NBA professional Franz Wagner, who has long since won the hearts of German basketball fans with his carefree style of play and strong performances Has. In his native city, 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 thrower.

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."

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