TOKYO (AFP) – German basketball players will play their first Olympics in 13 years with a clear plan.
“It is inconvenient to play against us, it is difficult to count,” national team coach Henrik Rudel said before kick-off on Sunday (6.40 am) at the Saitama Super Arena against Italy. “Of course we want to show the unity and team spirit in Tokyo that ultimately brought us success in Split.” By winning the qualifying tournament in the Croatian division, the DBB selection qualified for the Summer Games in a very short time.
“We arrived safely here and are now well settled. Everyone is healthy and conditions here are good,” Rödl said of the state of preparations. Training is currently done twice a day. The seven-hour time difference caused “a bit more, one less”, but: “Overall, the atmosphere is very good and we are looking forward to the first match.”
In the preliminary round Group B there are duels with Nigeria and Australia. The first and second safely qualified for the quarter-finals, and two thirds in the group qualify. Getting to the next round seems entirely possible. In the last Olympic participation so far, the German team led by Dirk Nowitzki came out in Beijing with just one win out of five matches.
Referring to Italy, Rudel said, “In general, they move offensively and defensively. They have many good, fast goalkeepers who will challenge us to the limit. We also have to pay special attention to good shooters.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210723-99-486555 / 2
Communicator. Reader. Hipster-friendly introvert. General zombie specialist. Tv trailblazer