Basketball World Cup: Schröder Gala at the second World Cup victory - "He was the killer"

After the terrific victory against the Olympic bronze medalist Australia, the two match winners Dennis Schröder and Maodo Lo happily hugged each other.

Basketball World Cup: Schröder Gala at the second World Cup victory - "He was the killer"

After the terrific victory against the Olympic bronze medalist Australia, the two match winners Dennis Schröder and Maodo Lo happily hugged each other. Led by the outstanding captain Schröder and Lo, who is finally strong again, the German basketball players also defied Franz Wagner's failure in the second World Cup game and set a big sporting exclamation mark at the World Cup in Japan.

National coach Gordon Herbert's team defeated co-favorite Australia 85-82 (49-44) in Okinawa on Sunday and is now on course for the finals in Manila. Schröder put on 30 points and eight assists in the absence of Wagner, who was injured, and thus became the match winner. Lo shone with 20 points and scored the last two points to win the second preliminary round.

Herbert: "Dennis was exceptional"

"We managed it as a team and did a good job," said Schröder modestly after his basketball gala. "We knew that we had enough quality even without Franz. We always stick together and always give everything on the floor," said the Toronto Raptors point guard. "He was the killer today," said Lo about Schröder, who at times played like he was unleashed.

In front of 6205 spectators - including the German basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki - the two favorites fought a gripping duel. Fiba ambassador Nowitzki clapped and cheered in appreciation for his home country, which is aiming for its first World Cup medal in 21 years. For the second time ever, Germany started the World Cup with two wins. On Tuesday (9.30 a.m./Magentasport) the preliminary round should be perfectly completed against Finland and another big step towards the Philippines, where all games from the quarter-finals onwards will take place, should be taken.

"Dennis showed an outstanding individual performance within a strong team performance. He was extraordinary," praised national coach Herbert Schröder. Despite the important success, the Canadian remained cautious. "It's only two wins. We haven't qualified yet. We'll enjoy it today and then it's against Finland."

The German team suffered a setback in the midday hours when the failure of young NBA star Wagner, who had an ankle injury, was confirmed. On his 22nd birthday, the key player was out and about with walking boots on the Okinawa promenade and then in the hall - but only as a spectator in the black training train. The team of national coach Herbert must hope to get Wagner back quickly - who has been dubbed the "new Nowitzki" in the past few days. After the victory, the disappointed Wagner was at least serenaded by his teammates.

A strong final sprint ensures the hoped-for dream start

In his place began the athletic Isaac Bonga, who took center stage - but not only him. "We'll probably need more minutes from Dennis. He hasn't played against Japan for the last twelve minutes. That means he's rested and motivated," said Herbert before the start of the game at Magentasport. And the well-rested captain led the way. Schröder hardly sat on the bench for the entire 40 minutes and took full control of the offensive.

The 29-year-old defensive player already had 18 points and five assists at halftime, but not only that: Schröder also defended well and made offensive fouls with great effort. From the second row, Bonga and Lo, who had been weak for weeks, each brought seven points quickly and thus the impetus that was needed after Wagner's failure.

Germany identified the defensive against NBA veteran Patty Mills as the key to success. "Just hope he doesn't score," joked Herbert. This plan didn't work out at all in the early stages: Mills scored the Australians' first 13 points and then continued to control the offensive of the team, which has nine NBA players and is considered a medal favorite. But Germany fought back with all their might and, thanks to a strong final sprint, made the hoped-for dream start perfect.

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