German basketball players bought their ticket to the World Cup ahead of time after the hectic summer of the European Championship.
National coach Gordon Herbert’s team defeated Finland 94:80 (44:36) in Bamberg on Friday night and will participate in the world tournament in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines (August 25 to September 10, 2023). David Kremer (19 points), Christian Sengfelder (19) and Justus Holatz (18) stood out from the weakened team. Finland is already qualified.
“It was absolutely spectacular. We have always fought. We only had three days together. I am really proud of this team,” said Herbert. It’s great to play the other qualifiers without the pressure. The actors were cheered by the audience and “Sweet Caroline” was played in the hall.
The national coach said earlier in Magentasport. “We’ve had a lot of setbacks through the NBA and the Euroleague, as well as injuries and illnesses. But this is a great opportunity for those who are here,” head coach Herbert told Magentasport.
For many fans, a completely renewed lineup without NBA stars around Dennis Schröder was not as attractive as the big basketball festival nights in Cologne and Berlin. Only 3,927 fans showed up at Franconia Hall, where former series champion Brose Bamberg usually plays. The entire stands were hung with black curtains. Almost two months after EM bronze, there wasn’t much left of the euphoria.
On the floor, the team tried everything for the aggressive Holatz and local hero Sengfelder. The duo, who were hardly used at the European Championship behind stars such as Schröder, Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis, are now set to take on the leading roles. “The most important thing is that we play hard and stick together,” said Herbert, who said he was ill for ten days after the European Championships in September.
The DBB team is way behind
It worked moderately, at least in the first quarter. The German team trailed for a long time and really went ahead just before the break. The eight-point halftime lead was its biggest to date. After that, however, the lead continued to grow and the German team pulled away decisively in the third quarter.
It’s not just the Germans who have had to be without many top performers. The Finns have a European star in Lauri Markkanen, but are currently challenging the power forward in the NBA as well. At the European Championship held in the summer, Finland surprisingly made it to the quarter-finals. The two countries will travel to Asia for the World Cup next summer. Even third-placed Slovenia, around superstar Luka Doncic, is unlikely to make the cut anymore.
On Monday (18:00 / Magentasport), Germany host former European champions Slovenia in a World Cup qualifier in Koper, without Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks. From a sporting point of view, the game will be as pointless after the ticket has already been bought as the two qualifiers for the new year against Sweden (February 24) and Finland (February 27) at the end of the group. J.
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