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Difficult victory against Belgium: German basketball players counter Wagner shock

Difficult victory against Belgium
German basketball players counter Wagner shock

Three weeks before the start of the European Championship, the German basketball players showed a performance with good and bad in the first test. After all, a victory succeeds in Belgium. And this despite the fact that there is very bad news shortly before the game.

Hours after the end of NBA professional Moritz Wagner, the German basketball players won the first friendly in preparation for the European Championship. In Hasselt, the team of national coach Gordon Herbert prevailed against host Belgium with 87:83 (46:50) despite a mixed performance. The guests’ best thrower was Wagner’s younger brother Franz with 23 points. “I liked how we started. The first seven or eight minutes were good. Then Belgium came back,” said Herbert: “It was the first time we played together. It takes a little time.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the German Basketball Association (DBB) announced that 25-year-old Wagner (Orlando Magic) would miss the final round of the EuroBasket (September 1-18) in his hometown of Berlin due to an ankle injury. “It’s a hard blow for us,” said Herbert. Without Wagner and Nick Weiler-Babb, who had been naturalized in time for the European Championships the previous week but had to travel to his home country USA at short notice due to family matters, the German team showed a lot of fluctuations after only four training days together.

After a concentrated start, the guests quickly led 11:0, the lead grew to 16 points in the first quarter (27:11). When Herbert made several changes for the first time, there was a break and Belgium turned the game around until the break. In the second half the duel remained open, the DBB team had better nerves in the final minutes. The bright spot of the evening was Franz Wagner (also Orlando Magic) on his debut in the A-Team. The 20-year-old was in the starting line-up and showed that he can become a very important factor.

After the second test on Friday against the Netherlands in Almere, Herbert wants to decide on his twelve-man squad for the European Championship. Of the players who started the training camp in Cologne on Saturday, apart from Moritz Wagner, Johannes Voigtmann, Maodo Lo and Johannes Thiemann were also missing from the squad of 12 on Wednesday. Before the start of the European Championship against France in Cologne’s Lanxess Arena, the Supercup in Hamburg (19/20 August) and the dress rehearsal against Slovenia are on the agenda. The European champion around NBA star Luka Doncic comes to the Audi Dome in Munich on August 28 as part of the World Cup qualifiers.

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