After the successful EM dress rehearsal against Slovenia with superstar Luka Doncic, Germany's captain Dennis Schröder happily threw a few more basketballs with Bayern soccer players Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala.
The NBA professional then turned his attention to the European Championship, which begins on September 1st in Cologne against France. "The EM is a completely different league. We have to wash it down and be ready for the EM," said Schröder after the surprisingly clear 90:71 (33:31) in the World Cup qualifier in Munich against the defending EM champion.
With a lot of self-confidence to the European Championship
After the strong performance, the German basketball players travel to the European Championships in Cologne and Berlin (September 1st to 18th) with a lot of self-confidence. It was the seventh consecutive victory in the World Cup qualification - the ticket to the 2023 World Cup is almost certain.
The best German throwers in front of 6136 spectators - including Bayern footballers Joshua Kimmich, Davies and Musiala - were Schröder (17 points) and NBA talent Franz Wagner (16). Doncic delivered 23 points, six rebounds and five assists, but that wasn't enough. In the third quarter, the point guard left the floor for a short time because he had twisted his ankle.
"Today was a tour de force. We didn't throw great, but such victories feel particularly good," said the strong Wagner, who can hardly wait for the start of the European Championship. "It's going to be really cool. We're really looking forward to Thursday," said the Orlando Magic professional at Magentasport.
In the European Championship opening match on Thursday evening (8.30 p.m. / Magentasport) against France, the team around Schröder, who is currently without a club, takes a lot of optimism with them. France surprisingly lost 90-96 the night before after two extra hours in Bosnia.
National coach Gordon Herbert did not want to overestimate the win against Slovenia. "We will enjoy it briefly and then continue to work," said the national coach. For the big positions, Herbert is hoping for a return from Indiana Pacers' Daniel Theis, who was missing on Sunday due to knee problems. "It's going pretty well. I increased the load today. I'm very confident," said Theis, who could become the fifth NBA failure after Maxi Kleber, Isaac Bonga, Isaiah Hartenstein and Moritz Wagner, before the game. A decision on his participation in the European Championship should be made on Tuesday.
In Munich, where the Olympic basketball tournament was played in the same hall 50 years ago, things went very well without Theis. Nick Weiler-Babb and Wagner took turns looking after Doncic, who nevertheless repeatedly demonstrated his outstanding skills. The Dallas Mavericks star quickly hit two threes and, as usual, orchestrated the offensive of the 2017 European champions.
"The big players won the game for us today"
Germany showed no great respect for the strong Slovenia from the start. Substitute Andreas Obst quickly hit three threes at his home ground, and the young Wagner was also at his best a day after his 21st birthday. "He's doing an excellent job. He'll give us all a lot of pleasure," said association president Ingo Weiss at half-time.
After the break, Wagner continued strong and with numerous smooth movements, and the DBB team defended strongly and with a lot of passion. "The big players won the game for us today," said Schröder. The superior third quarter was the basis for the surprising home win.