Germany versus Slovenia.

No, it doesn't.

As formally correct as the draw on Sunday evening of the quarter-finals is reproduced, there is more to this encounter on Tuesday.

Perhaps it is the most spectacular that could have happened to the Germans.

More interesting and worth seeing than the previously rather obligatory presentation of the American NBA selection.

Anno Hecker

Responsible editor for sports.

  • Follow I follow

Slovenia has Luka Doncic. 28.3 points on average per game among his compatriots. Your star, the star of the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA. One of the best players in the world. 22 years old, but well on the way to becoming one of the greats in his sport. The Germans want to stop him, they have to.

This opening credits reads as if a one-on-five duel were on the program: Doncic against Germany. The special thing about players with extraordinary potential in a team sport is not just the ability to pull everything in. What they have in common is the social intelligence to connect, to give away. Doncic, a talent of the century, makes other players look better. On Sunday, when he defeated world champions Spain, he scored twelve points. Even more important were his nine passes to direct basketball success. There were also 14 rebounds. Doncic is a team player. The Slovenes have not lost 16 games in a row.

With the Germans, the feeling of defeat is fresh. On Saturday they lost to Australia 76:89. A medal candidate, like Slovenia. “I think we have a chance against any team,” national coach Henrik Rödl said before the draw. “We just really have to play the very best game of the summer.” The Germans held up against Australia for a long time before they lost four balls within two minutes, three times as many as Australia. You cannot win a game with 18 so-called “turnovers”. "That was bad, yes," says DBB sports director Armin Andres. “But I am sure that the team will call up the quality that they achieved in the summer.“Standing together as a unit in difficult moments - and then maintaining the level shown over and over again in all three games for over forty minutes.

On Tuesday (03.00 CEST in the FAZ live ticker for the Olympics, on ARD and on Eurosport) this will be especially necessary in defense: "We will have to find a way to stop Doncic," said Rödl. He could try Isaac Bonga or Niels Giffey, with length and agility the two seem most likely to disturb his rhythm. But many have tried that.

Even if the team's journey came to an end on Tuesday, there would still be a profit. It has been 29 years since a German selection reached the quarter-finals at the Olympic Games. "We have thus achieved the first goal of the agreement with the German Olympic Sports Confederation," said Ingo Weiss, President of the German Basketball Association (DBB). With the move into the quarter-finals, the DBB came one step further. "After the games, we can apply to the DOSB and the Federal Ministry of the Interior for an increase in funding," added Weiss: "We have potential, nobody will deny that."

It fits into the picture that Franz Wagner made a spectacular jump on Friday. He was selected as the eighth player by Orlando Magic in the NBA's Young Player Auction called Draft. It is quite possible that he will soon be competing in the national jersey at major events with his brother Moritz. In the coming year, the Germans will be largely involved in organizing the EM. Then the World Cup will follow in 2022. In three years, Weiss wants to see the next German selection win at the games in Paris: “We have so many top players, you can see that here in Tokyo. We're in the top eight. The journey should go on. "