Before World Cup in Japan
US coach raves about German basketball players
Updated: 08/21/2023, 11:23 AM | Reading time: 4 minutes
US national coach Steve Kerr praises the German basketball team.
Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/AP/dpa
Abu Dhabi. When successful US coach Steve Kerr started to praise the German basketball players, they were already in the middle of the stress of traveling.
Almost in a hurry, Dennis Schröder and Co. left the ultra-modern Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi after the brave 91:99 against top favorite USA in order to stick to the ambitious schedule. Already at 3:00 a.m. early Monday morning – less than five hours after the end of the game – the plane took off from Dubai, more than 100 kilometers away, to Japan, where the Germans played the hosts directly at the start of the World Cup on Friday (2:10 p.m. / Magentasport). are required.
The appreciative words of NBA luminary Kerr, who once won titles as a player alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls, should not have escaped the basketball players on the way to Okinawa via Osaka. “That was definitely our toughest opponent. They are a big, strong team. Dennis Schröder is very difficult to control. Spain was excellent too, but it’s clear that Germany is one of the best teams in the world,” Kerr told the German Press Agency in Abu Dhabi. So far this summer, the US team has not been challenged as much as it was on Sunday.
Kerr sees DBB team as medal contenders
Kerr’s message after the hard-fought victory of the World Cup favorites, who at one point were behind by 16 points, was clear: Germany is on an equal footing with Spain, the world and European champions, this summer. “You’re definitely a medal contender for the Worlds,” Kerr said. National coach Gordon Herbert should have realized this during the past few weeks of preparation. A year after bronze at the home European Championship, the 64-year-old Canadian announced another medal as a clear goal in July.
Immediately before the start of the treacherous World Cup preliminary round group with Japan, co-favourite Australia and Finland, Germany is on the right track. “We’re already playing very well. I’m very happy with the team – the physique is right, we play as a team. It also fits off the field,” said playmaker Schröder. The 29-year-old, the two Wagner brothers Franz and Moritz and Daniel Theis are the key figures, as the test weekend in the Persian Gulf impressively demonstrated. All four are in excellent condition. “They carry the team,” said Association Vice President Armin Andres. The Germans had won a sovereign 84:71 against Greece on Saturday.
Departure for Japan
Now it’s time to fly, regenerate, arrive in the Far East. For NBA professionals like Schröder, timed travel is also part of everyday life in the league. “We know that over there, that we play and fly straight on. Five hours time difference, everyone has to get used to it first,” said Schröder. The association had already fixed the Abu Dhabi trip with games against absolute top opponents before the World Cup draw in spring.
Head coach Herbert explicitly hoped for a World Cup appearance in Manila at the tournament with venues in three countries, but nothing came of it. This is one of the reasons why the departure and the logistics became more stressful. Three full days remain on the island of Okinawa before the first World Cup appearance. “We need to regenerate in Japan. Hopefully we can have a training session on Wednesday, we want to get ready on Thursday. The most important thing after the two games is that we recover – physically and mentally,” said Herbert.
Sporty there are not many question marks. Point-up player Justus Hollatz travels to Japan, the rest of the team is well-rehearsed and got more and more going in the three weeks of preparation. Herbert didn’t want to overestimate the fact that the coup against the basketball superiority USA didn’t work out. “Defeats give you opportunities to analyze things better. This gives you the chance to stay tough. That’s what we’re going to do now,” he said.
( © dpa-infocom, dpa:230821-99-902706/4 (dpa) )
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