A gala against France, a victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina thanks to great morale: Germany’s basketball players are about to reach the round of 16 at the European Championship. With the 92:82 (42:47) on Saturday in front of 18,017 spectators in Cologne’s Lanxess Arena, the team around captain Dennis Schröder also won in the second game. Coach Gordon Herbert’s team can almost book the trip to the finals in Berlin.
“The home EM is the advantage. The fans carried us. We probably wouldn’t have made it without them,” said Schröder after the hard-fought game, which was characterized by many nicknames and in which things didn’t go well for the German team for one half. “The only positive thing at the break was that we were only five points behind,” said Herbert.
The Canadian obviously found the right words at half-time. Because after the break, his team came out of the dressing room with significantly more energy and laid the foundation for success with a 12-0 run. “After the break we came out with the right mentality,” said a satisfied Schröder. “We stayed together as a team.”
The best pitchers in the German team were playmaker Schröder and Franz Wagner, each with 18 points. Key player Johannes Voigtmann (ten) was also strong again. The Bosnians, who had won against Hungary at the start, were impressed by NBA center Jusuf Nurkic with 21 points and Dzanan Musa (30).
“It’s awesome. It makes you really want to play here. The fans are incredible,” said Johannes Thiemann, who was once again valuable, after the success at Magentasport. Starting weak can happen. “It’s all the more important to come back like this and play like that in the second half.” On Sunday (2.30 p.m. / Magentasport) things will continue for Germany. Then co-favorite Lithuania is the opponent in Cologne. Another win could make progress perfect.
As against France, the German team got off to a weak start and acted nervously at first. Especially offensively, Schröder and Co. often made wrong decisions and had to take so many difficult throws. The non-club NBA professional Schröder scored six points in the first quarter, but he was unable to give the German game any real contours.
As in the opening game, it was the players from the bench who kept the hosts in the game. Maodo Lo and Thiemann scored important points, after ten minutes Germany was only two points behind (18:20) despite a mixed performance.
Security in the German game did not come in the second quarter either. The German team fought back again and again and impressed with a spectacular dunk from Theis on a pass from Schröder, but Herbert’s selection never really got going. Seven turnovers in the first half hampered the flow of the German team, who deserved the break and were consequently behind.
After the break, the spectators saw a completely different German team. Germany pulled away by up to ten points, but then two important players, Wagner and Voigtmann, had four fouls on the bench. However, Germany also survived this hectic phase and went into the last quarter with a twelve-point lead. There, Obst hit some important threes and provided a comfortable cushion.