The German basketball players spoil Japan’s big break and can hope for a quick advancement. A World Cup debutant is particularly impressive in Okinawa. His brother buckles.
The German basketball players proved their strength against hosts Japan right at the start of the World Cup, but are worried about NBA professional Franz Wagner.
The most important player in the German team, along with captain Dennis Schröder, suffered an unfortunate ankle injury in the final quarter and was not used again. However, the clear 81:63 (53:31) against the Japanese without a chance was never in danger. Germany took a big step towards the second round.
In addition to Schröder (14 points), Moritz Wagner, who made his debut at the World Cup, trumped with 25 points and nine rebounds. The duel between the European Championship third and the physically completely inferior Japanese was already decided at halftime.
Herbert: Franz Wagner has a “slightly sprained ankle”
“We played a very good first half. We had a few problems in the second half, we became a bit careless. We will learn from that,” said national coach Gordon Herbert.
Franz Wagner struggles with a “slightly sprained ankle”. said the national coach after the game. The younger of the two Wagner brothers twisted in the fourth quarter and was then substituted. It was initially unclear how serious the injury was. An MRI scan should bring more clarity. Wagner left the interior prematurely.
With the undisputed victory, Germany’s basketball players – unlike in 2010 and 2019 – managed to make a tailor-made start to the World Cup. While the last two World Cup participations ended after the preliminary round, this time a victory over Australia on Sunday (10.30 a.m. / Magentasport) even means a premature leap into the intermediate round. The Australians, equipped with nine NBA players, also indicated their great quality with the 98:72 over Finland. It should be an early final for the group victory for the team of national coach Gordon Herbert.
Schröder: “Have to bring in 40 minutes of consistency”
“The first game in particular is always very important. Now we’re preparing well for Australia,” said NBA star Schröder after the opening win. “We have to be consistent for 40 minutes, then we can achieve a lot,” said the Toronto Raptors point guard.
6397 spectators – almost all in Japan’s colors red and white – hoped for a sporting sensation in the Okinawa Arena. An atmospheric and colorful opening ceremony over 30 minutes heated up the audience just as much as the Japanese professionals, who showed a few crashing dunks just before the game started while warming up. Well-known classics such as DJ Ötzi’s “Anton aus Tirol” roared out of the speakers. With loud “Nippon” shouts, the hosts’ fans drove their team forward from the start, they celebrated every successful action.
But the sporting differences quickly became clear. Germany made good use of its size and athletic advantages and repeatedly achieved good throwing positions. Daniel Theis and Moritz Wagner, coming from the bench, could not be controlled under the basket. Coach Herbert was spot on with Wagner’s early substitution. The Japanese tried their luck from afar, but became increasingly distant. “We have to take away their threes,” Herbert had announced before the game – that worked.
With the victory, the German team successfully followed up on the bronze coup at the European Championships last year and proved the great potential that they had already hinted at in friendlies against Canada, Greece and the USA. The Herbert team was once again supported by the four NBA pillars Schröder, Theis and the two Wagner brothers Franz and Moritz. That’s how it was in preparation.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.