German basketball players played well against the USA for a long time, but in the end they lost a huge lead. But for the World Cup in Japan, live fencing in Abu Dhabi should give courage.
Lots of effort and fun: Daniel Theiss (centre) and Dennis Schroeder (right) performed well for DBB against the United States despite the defeat.
Image Alliance / dpa
German basketball players squandered a major sporting coup in the desert and lost a clear lead to World Cup favorites USA. Captain Dennis Schroeder’s team lost 91:99 (54:46) in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night against the Olympic champion, who was already 16 points behind. After the turbulent rehearsal, Germany still travels to Okinawa with great self-confidence, as the host team Japan awaits the start on Friday (2:10 p.m.). The United States also won their last friendly match five days before the start of the World Cup (August 25-September 10).
“We played great for 26 minutes and kept the game open,” said national team coach Gordon Herbert. “In the end we were out of legs. The main task now is to renew.” Captain Schroeder (16 points and 10 assists) excelled as he did the day before in the win over Greece. Franz Wagner (17 points) and Moritz Wagner (14) also impressed the team, which is full of NBA stars like Anthony Edwards, but will have to do without really big names like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant or LeBron James this summer. Edwards was MVP of the night with 34 points and led America’s impressive comeback.
Playmaker Schroeder said before the match about his team, which last year had a similar squad at the European Championships – won bronze. Sunday evening was really amazing. The Germans, who played great at times, temporarily took the lead 71:55, but lost it again within a few minutes. In the last duel between the two countries, Germany lost by 49 points at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
From the start, the evening was all about the stars of the United States. NBA pros signed baseball jerseys and caps an hour before the game kicked off, highlighting scenes from past friendlies flashing on the massive video cube. Around 8,000 spectators gathered at Etihad Stadium to watch Steve Kerr’s previously flawless display of side. Captain Schroeder was the only German professional to receive nearly as many applause as Edwards & Co. in the player’s presentation.
Germany is not affected by American athletics
But then both teams gave the best basketball entertainment. Garren Jackson Jr. showed two impressive blocks ahead of Schroeder and Franz Wagner, but the German team wasn’t intimidated by the opponent’s formidable athleticism. Time and time again, Schroeder directed the German offense, and by the end of the first half he had accumulated six assists. The Wagner brothers played a subtle role and were not shy about attacking. So, after a 20-minute entertaining exchange of blows, Germany had an eight-point lead.
So the rule of 84:71 against Greece encouraged the German team. Vice-President Armin Andres summed up the preparations that ended with the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi: “It went well. The players came to the training camp fit, prepared well. The three weeks were very intense”. The downside was the injury to playmaker Justus Holatz, who sprained his ankle on Saturday and is now traveling to Japan with the injured squad.
“It’s a process. We don’t have a lot of time, we have to use the matches as training. That’s what we do,” coach Herbert said of his team’s situation. The 64-year-old Canadian must have really enjoyed the training sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
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