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Basketball EM: Mixed emotions among German basketball players – concerns about Wagner – Sports

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Injured in round of 16: Franz Wagner. Photo: Federico Gambarini/dpa

German basketball players are among the top 8 teams in the European competition. But that didn’t cause a big fuss. Instead, there is concern about one of the most important players.

Berlin – The fear of the next outstanding failure mixed with the joy of reaching the minimum goal among German basketball players.

The fact that Franz Wagner, which has so far been strong and unconcerned in this European competition, can only be hooked out of the stadium in Berlin after defeating Montenegro 85: 79 in the round of 16 has made a good mood in the German camp. .

Even on Sunday, not all is clear for the 21-year-old star from the NBA. “I can’t answer that. We’ll know a little bit more tomorrow. He has an ankle sprain – it’s hard to say how bad it is. We’ll find out tomorrow,” Nationals coach Gordon Herbert said on Sunday at the team. Hotel in Berlin. There Herbert and Co. Also watched the final round of 16 in the evening, in which Greece and NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo won 94: 88 against the Czech Republic. Greece is now the closest German opponents.

Wagner twisted his ankle in the third quarter. Although the NBA player from Orlando Magic converted his three free throws, then he left the floor and never returned. “Following a detailed photo-diagnosis in the accident hospital in Berlin yesterday evening, Franz Wagner was also treated by the medical staff of the DBB. The next course remains to be seen,” the German Basketball Association said on Sunday. There should be more news on Monday.

Wagner uses questions

His participation will be decisive for the semi-finals on Tuesday (8.30 pm / Magentasport). After all, the first MRI image showed no serious injuries. However, in the end, Orlando Magic, with the body of the German team and Wagner this summer, will also decide whether the next appearance by Wagner in this European competition is possible. “If he doesn’t play, we have to find a replacement,” Herbert said. Schröder is looking forward to the big game either way. “It will be a great challenge, we take it with pride,” said the captain.

Wagner, whose highlight was a 32-point game-winning performance against Lithuania, has been one of the hosts’ best performances so far. Even before the competition, brother Moritz Wagner had to cancel for the European competition. Key players such as Maximilian Kleber, Isaac Bonga, Tibor Pleiß and Isaiah Hartenstein are also missing for various reasons. Nick Weiler-Babb also had to sit out against Montenegro due to a problem with his shoulder. Johannes Voigtmann played unwell, but should be fit and on board again by the next knockout duel.

The two-day break until the quarter-finals is very convenient for the team around captain Dennis Schröder. Training scheduled for Sunday evening was canceled, Schröder and Co. Should increase their batteries for the next big challenge. “It helps us a lot. The opponents don’t play until tomorrow, so we are probably fresher legs,” said Alba Berlin’s Johannes Thiemann. A major coup should have been accomplished with a charged battery, as Herbert ruled out a definite quarter-final berth.

“We expect more”

“That’s what we expected. But our expectations go further. We expect to be in Berlin, we expect to win in Berlin. And we expect more than that,” said the coach after the curious game against Montenegro, which actually consisted of “two basketball games in one”, as Herbert rightly analyzed.

In the first half, the German team came trumps and led at the break with 24 points (48: 24). Schröder showed his best match so far and impressed as a scorer and helper. The rest still seem very focused and really want to play basketball. In view of the temporary lead with 27 points at the beginning of the second half, the delay was determined, so that Montenegro came with three points (80: 77). However, progress is not in real danger.

But to be able to play for their first medal in 17 years, when Dirk Nowitzki led Germany to silver in Serbia, Schröder and Co. must be improved. “We have to play as a German team. If we do that, we have shown that we can win against any team,” Schröder said.

Hopefully there will be more fans in Berlin

German basketball players also hope to increase from fans in Berlin. After the festival in the preliminary round in Cologne, the players were a little surprised that the hall was not sold out for the first knockout game in Berlin. “Hopefully there will be more fans next time. It will be cool if the hall is full,” Maodo Lo said.

“Cologne was very strong, which pushed us a lot. Today there were a few empty seats here and there, it was a little quiet at times,” goalkeeper Alba Berlin said in view of the 12,938 spectators in the 14,500 seats. Spectators Mercedes Benz Arena. Looking forward to Tuesday’s semifinals, Lo addressed his hometown basketball fans directly. “As a Berliner, I appeal: show what we have built. And support us so that we have a good chance.”

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