Schröder with the best performance of the tournament so far
Andreas Obst replaced Weiler-Babb in the starting line-up for the German team, which got off to a perfect start. The hosts started very focused under Schröder and quickly pulled away to 11:2 with some great moves. The very physical Montenegrins then closed the gap to 10:11, but a strong intermediate sprint gave Germany a nine-point lead after the first quarter.
The German team thus also met the expectations of German basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki. He watched the match from the stands at the Mercedes Benz Arena, which was not completely filled with 12,938 spectators. “I hope we live up to our role as favorites today. I hope the boys start the game well and then we should win the game today,” Nowitzki said before the game at “Magentasport”.
And Schröder and Co. made sure Nowitzki didn’t have to shiver long before the break. Also because the captain turned in his best performance of the tournament so far, Germany pulled back to 24 points at halftime. After the change of parties, the concentration of the Germans decreased significantly, so Montenegro came closer and closer. In the last quarter, the clear outsider suddenly even reduced the gap to five points (64:69). But despite a weak second half, victory was no longer in real danger.
Slovenia, France and Spain in the quarter-finals
Defending champions Slovenia and Olympic silver medalist France had already qualified for the quarterfinals ahead of Germany. Even without superstar Luka Doncic’s gala, the Slovenians beat the outsider Belgium 88:72 (44:41). Unlike last time, Doncic played quite unbelievably in the opening round against Germany and France this time, but was still the best shooter with 35 points. Co-favorite France had much more problems. The Olympic silver needed extra time in the eighteenth semifinal to defeat Turkey 87:86 (77:77, 43:35). Spain also had to tremble until the end. The three-time European champion beat Lithuania in an exciting game only after extra time 102:94 (83:83, 40:45) and will now face either Finland or Croatia.