The German basketball players got their first victory on the way to the World Cup in Asia with more effort than expected. The team of national coach Gordon Herbert clearly defeated outsiders Sweden with 87:68 (42:42), but in the hard-fought game it was only in the last quarter that the expected clear conditions were achieved.

Captain Dennis Schröder was the best German player in front of 6015 spectators in Bonn and scored 17 points. Almost three weeks before the start of the World Championships on August 25th in Okinawa, Japan, the Herbert team still has a lot of work to do. In addition to Schröder and youngster Franz Wagner (15 points), Moritz Wagner, who played in his first international match since summer 2021 with a lot of energy and emotionally carried away his teammates, was particularly convincing.

Before the start of the game, the German Basketball Association honored its longtime captain Robin Benzing. Like his wife, the 34-year-old fought back tears at the ceremony and said goodbye to his heart team after 167 international matches.

Benzing sees a good start for the DBB team

“The national team is in good hands, the boys are great. I always wanted to set a good example. The national team is a family for me – they are all my children. I will continue to take care of them,” said Benzing. President Ingo Weiss called the performance of the veteran “incredible” and “phenomenal”.

Benzing then took a seat in the stands and watched from there as his successors got off to a good start. While Schröder and Daniel Theis’ squad, which was peppered with NBA professionals, provided several highlights, Sweden didn’t score at all for almost four minutes. But the early leads (8:0 and 15:4) didn’t last long. When head coach Herbert substituted, the Swedes got into the game better and even took the lead.

Schröder sometimes with spectacular passes

In the first of a total of six friendlies on the way to Japan, the German team could see who was likely to be the top performer again this summer. The tried and tested starting lineup with Schröder, Andreas Obst, Franz Wagner, Theis and Johannes Voigtmann should not be overlooked. Captain Schröder, who recently made headlines with his harsh criticism of teammate Maximilian Kleber, repeatedly hinted at his enormous potential and fed his teammates with spectacular passes. But not everything worked out.

The game initially remained open even after the change. Sweden scored much better from the three-point line and stayed ahead until the beginning of the fourth period. In the German team, despite the strong final quarter, a day before the planned reduction of the squad, only a few players were able to promote themselves vigorously. Getting the second row behind Schröder and Co. going should be one of Herbert’s main tasks. World Cup co-favorite Canada is the next opponent on Wednesday (7.30 p.m. / Magentasport) in Berlin.