Third game, third win: Despite all the personnel concerns, the German basketball players remain undefeated in the preparation for the European Championship and are in the final of the Supercup in Hamburg. The team led by captain and NBA professional Dennis Schröder won the traditional four-nation tournament against the Czech Republic on Friday evening with 101:90 (56:44) and will now face Serbia in the final on Saturday (6.30 p.m./Magentasport). The European Championship favorite beat Italy 90:86 (44:53) in the first semi-final, NBA superstar Nikola Jokic shone with 18 points. In Germany, Franz Wagner convinced with 26 points against the Czech Republic.
The German team was undeterred by the personal turbulence of the past few days. NBA professional Daniel Theis was rested because of knee problems, Niels Giffey was absent for private reasons. And Nick Weiler-Babb, who only joined the team on Thursday, has not yet been used after just one training session with his new teammates. The Bayern Munich guard, who has just been naturalized, is to be used on Saturday, as national coach Gordon Herbert had announced in advance.
At the beginning, the national coach relied on Schröder and Franz Wagner in the starting line-up. And above all the 20-year-old Wagner showed immediately that he can play an important role in the German selection at the European Championship. At the break, the NBA pro from the Orlando Magic, whose brother Moritz Wagner will miss the tournament due to a foot injury, already had 15 points in his account.
At half-time, the German team was ahead by twelve points (56:44) and showed some promising approaches offensively. Defensively, however, the hosts lacked the necessary intensity in many situations, and the absence of center Theis was particularly noticeable here.
But in attack, the Herbert team showed many positive things. In addition to Wagner and Schröder, Maodo Lo and Andreas Obst also played their part in the overall undisputed victory. However, the Czechs, who will meet Serbia among others at the European Championship, were not a real indicator either. Shortly before the end there was a moment of shock for the German team. Captain Schröder twisted his ankle and immediately hobbled out of the hall into the dressing room.
The first real endurance test for Germany will now be on Saturday against the top-seeded Serbia. After that, there are still two World Cup qualifiers in Sweden (25 August) and in Munich against Slovenia with superstar Luka Doncic (28 August) before the European Championship kick-off against France on September 1 in Cologne.