When Germany's basketball bronze medalists are back on the floor for a competitive game for the first time on Friday, there will be little left of Berlin's glamor.
Captain Dennis Schroeder continues to drive his recovery from a thumb injury at the glossy club Los Angeles Lakers. Young star Franz Wagner from the Orlando Magic will play against NBA superstars like Stephen Curry or Luka Doncic in November, but not in the World Cup qualifiers in Bamberg or in Koper, Slovenia. And the professionals from Alba Berlin and Bayern Munich compete against each other with the clubs in the Euroleague instead of with each other in the national team.
"A Difficult Situation"
Almost two months after the EM medal coup, national coach Gordon Herbert is once again faced with a serious challenge. "It's difficult. It's a difficult situation. In the windows it's always a completely different composition than in the tournaments," said Armin Andres, Vice President of the German Basketball Association (DBB) of the dpa.
When a return of the bronze heroes is advertised for this Friday (7:00 p.m. / Magentasport) in Bamberg against Finland, it seems more than false labeling. Because from the European Championship team there are only three players available in Justus Hollatz, local hero Christian Sengfelder and the subsequently nominated Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann, who were rarely used at the home tournament in Cologne and Berlin. So once again everything is zero for Herbert, who constantly has to work with changing formations and can still make the World Cup qualification for 2023 perfect in the former Franconian basketball stronghold.
High DBB appreciation from Herbert
"I'm really impressed with how Gordie organizes it. It feels like bad news every day, you have to constantly reschedule," said official Andres. This time not only players from the NBA and the Euroleague are missing. Kenneth Ogbe, Dominic Lockhart, Leon scratches and Karim Jallow have all been absent since the squad was nominated.
But the 63-year-old Herbert didn't make any big complaints in his first year as national coach. "It's a great opportunity to play in Germany again so soon after the European Championships. In addition, in such a great basketball city and with the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup," said the Canadian, who played seven games with teams that were sometimes severely weakened victories from eight qualifiers. Now it's: Germany against Finland, the winner will surely go to the World Cup, which will take place in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines in 2023.
"We should still win one game, preferably on Friday in Bamberg. Then everything would be a little more relaxed," said Andres. Then you could look forward to the game on Monday (6 p.m.) with the Slovenians, who have to play without their star player Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks, with more composure. The detailed planning for the World Cup next summer (August 25 to September 10) will only start next spring. Only then will a draw be drawn as to which of the three countries Germany would contest its preliminary round in.