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National team before Olympics: Defeat without trio: Basketball world champions disappoint

18,500 fans and the start of five big weeks: The basketball players had big plans for the opening match in Cologne. The test against France ended in great disappointment.

Basketball world champion Germany has messed up the start of its Olympic preparations. Captain Dennis Schröder’s team suffered a clear 66:90 (28:48) defeat in Cologne against Olympic host France. It was the second biggest defeat in the almost three-year tenure of national coach Gordon Herbert.

While the guests, led by super talent Victor Wembanyama (25 points), impressively underlined their medal ambitions for Paris in front of 18,500 fans, the still weakened German team must improve significantly in the next three weeks. Schröder got into a fight with NBA colleague Evan Fournier in the first half, who choked him after a foul, and scored a total of 23 points in his first international match since the World Cup title in Manila.

Wagners scheduled for Monday

The 30-year-old playmaker didn’t get much support this time. NBA pros Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner and Daniel Theis weren’t on the court at short notice – much to the disappointment of the fans, who wore many Wagner jerseys to the sold-out arena in Cologne. The reason for this is the contractual situation of the three pros, who have not yet been able to sign a new contract in the NBA. Herbert called the situation at Magentasport “an obstacle”.

The unsigned contracts are causing problems with the insurance. Things should work out for the Wagner brothers at least by the time the two Olympic group opponents play their second game in Montpellier on Monday (9 p.m./ProSieben MAXX). Both have agreed on a new contract with the Orlando Magic and only need to sign the paper. It is still unclear whether Theis will be able to play in the second game of the preparation.

Defenders like slalom poles

The French were immediately present on the court. Led by the ambitious super talent Wembanyama (2.23 meters) and defensive specialist Rudy Gobert (2.16 meters), the lead grew point by point. First the French led 8:0, later the lead quickly became double digits. Germany missed its first twelve three-point shots. But Schröder and Co. hardly dared to go into the zone because Wembanyama was waiting there with his extremely long arms.

The highlight of the game, which the German national handball team also watched live on site, was the scene between Fournier and Schröder. After a hard foul by the Frenchman, the two NBA pros first had a verbal tussle before Fournier grabbed the German captain by the neck with both hands. Schröder was given an unsportsmanlike foul. Fournier received a disqualifying foul and had to leave the court early.

The game was already decided at halftime. France was leading by 20 points and had advantages in all statistical categories. The agile giant Wembanyama sometimes circled the German defense like slalom poles and continued to deliver highlight after highlight after the break. He converted a three-pointer over the board. After the return match in Montpellier, the two teams will also meet in the Olympic preliminary round in Lille on August 2nd.

Source: Stern

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