German basketball players move into the quarter-finals of the European Cup after a rollercoaster game. To outsiders Montenegro it was 85:79.
After a big lead, they had to shake again: the German basketball players performed a mandatory task in Montenegro without a shadow and made it into the semifinals of the European Championship. After a festive week in Cologne, the team around captain Dennis Schröder fought 85: 79 (48: 24) in the round of 16. On Tuesday in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, on the way to the medal you dream of, you may have to face the “Greek Freak”. The next competitor is the Czech Republic or Greece around NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Schröder and Daniel Theis returned to the starting five after national coach Gordon Herbert rested them both in the last game of the meaningless group against Hungary (106: 71). Nick Weiler-Babb is out again with a shoulder problem, and Andreas Obst is standing in for the Americans at the tip.
A strong start
“I hope we live up to the role of favorite. If we come in well, we should definitely win,” German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki said before the round of 16 at MagentaSport. In the preliminary round, with 4 wins out of 5 games, the team finally “filled enough self-confidence”.
Without a trace of nervousness, the German team began with high intensity. After a big problem in the match so far, Schröder immediately scored his first three goals, making it 11:2 (4th minute). Due to a small error in the offense, the opponent entered the game better and got a little closer, but the distance lasted for a short time. Maodo Lo and Johannes Thiemann from Berlin brought great energy from the bench, and the hosts dominated the rebound in front of 12,938 spectators.
Schroeder is the leader
In their third international match against the Montenegrins, after the previous two, Herbert’s protégés had everything under control and continued to pull away. The leader was in double digits at the beginning of (21: 10/11.), before the break it was more than 20 points for the first time (40: 19/18.). Schröder’s shot did not settle, but the playmaker directed it cleverly and repeatedly staged his teammates in a way that was well worth it. When entering the dressing room, the man from Braunschweig had seven assists.
From the stands, Ambassador EM Nowitzki saw a completely false start in the second half, Montenegro closed in 14 points with a 13-0 run. Top scorer Schröder (22 points) hit three important points to make it 56:40, but the momentum is gone. Then Franz Wagner (14 points) injured his right ankle and followed the last quarter with thick ice on his foot. And it’s exciting. Montenegro reduced the lead to 77:80 (minute 40) and ran again.
Antetokounmpo can wait
Sunday evening only (8.45 pm / MagentaSport) will decide who the ticket to the semi-finals is at stake. The German team may have a much higher capacity, the Greek around Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) is the clear favorite against the Czechs in the round of 16.
The DBB team is in the semifinals for the second time in a row. In 2017, a defeat against Spain (72:84) prevented them from reaching the quarter-finals. Third European Championship medal after gold in 1993 and silver in 2005 was won in Berlin.