The European Championship kicks off on Thursday with plenty of favorites – including Germany. The last title was almost 30 years ago.
After qualifying for the World Cup 2023 is before the Euro 2022. German basketball players are traveling from one highlight to the next today. After a clear victory 90:71 on Sunday in Munich against the strong Slovenians, the plane will fly to Cologne on Tuesday, where the continental battle will begin on Thursday.
Competition The scroll is not canceled. This slogan also applies to European champions. It was supposed to be held in 2021, but the corona epidemic has thrown a spanner in the works. Because the Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed for a year, as a result, The World Basketball Federation (FIBA) decided earlier to postpone the tournament to 2022. But now the start is imminent, even without the qualified Russians, who were exempted because of the war in Ukraine. and replaced by Montenegro. Like the previous two times, the tournament will be held in four different places in the preliminary round: in Tbilisi (Georgia), in Prague (Czech Republic), in Milan (Italy) and Cologne, where the German team plays. The semi-finals from the round of 16 teams will be played in Berlin.
mode The preliminary round is divided into 4 groups divided into 6 teams, so each team must compete in 5 games. The top 4 countries entered the round of 16 teams, with the group winners meeting the 4th place and the group runners-up meeting the 3rd place. In the end, there will be no games arranged from the fifth place onwards.
German team The coach of the national team Gordon Herbert himself set the goal: “We want to be on the podium” – that is the gold medal. Almost 30 years after the historic success of Munich in 1993 with the victory under coach Svetislav Pesic (who now wants to lead the Serbians to the title), such success will increase German basketball. However, the Canadian coach set this demand when he was still expecting half a professional from the top NBA league of the United States. This time, the number has been reduced by half, provided that Daniel Theis recovers from his knee problem in time, which should be clear on Tuesday. If Theis fails as well, it will be another obstacle. Then the load should fall more on the shoulders of playmaker and captain Dennis Schröder and young Franz Wagner, who showed his impressive form from his first NBA season, at least in preparation. And of course the team can rely on the home advantage (“something special”, according to Johannes Voigtmann), although the group opponents Slovenia and especially Lithuania will still have a lot of support in front of 5000 fans in Cologne.
In the multicultural Berlin, this should benefit teams such as Serbia, Greece or Turkey in the knockout round, which will make the Mercedes-Benz Arena the home base.
Favorites This European championship has high quality, both in terms of players and teams. Dozens of teams look like they have a real chance to win a medal, just like the Germans are aiming for. Otherwise, the usual suspects belong to the favorite group: from the German group, France, Slovenia and Lithuania should be mentioned. In addition, Serbia has the most valuable player in the NBA, Nikola Jokic, Greeks or Turks, and also the reigning world champion in Spain. The deciding factor is who can play in the best lineup, and with this level of performance, it also depends on the form in the knockout game on the day.
TelevisionAll 76 games will be broadcast by Deutsche Telekom’s Pay-TV channel Magenta-Sport. Ludwigsburg Alexander Reil said in his role as the president of the Bundesliga basketball: “I hope that during the tournament, ARD and ZDF will at least agree on the broadcast partially.” Fans, even German matches can be seen for free on Magenta-Sport. For comparison: handball players recently scored four to five million viewers in the EM tournament on ARD/ZDF. A number that basketball players can only dream of – at least until now.