The historic success of the German basketball players does not come out of nowhere, but it is surprising in this form. After victories over Australia, Slovenia and top favorite USA, the first World Cup title is possible on Sunday (2.40 p.m./ZDF and Magentasport) in Manila against Serbia. Who are the twelve players plus head coach who follow in the footsteps of Dirk Nowitzki’s generation and could finally trump them in the final?

Gordon Herbert:

Things have been looking up since the Canadian took over the national team. Herbert (64) demanded a three-year commitment from his players. There was bronze at the home European Championships last year, this time they are assured of silver at the World Championships and they have already qualified for the Olympics in Paris. “The real star of this team is Gordon Herbert. He is a coach who understands the players,” said former professional Marko Pesic to the newspapers “Münchner Merkur” and “tz”.

Dennis Schröder:

The 29-year-old is captain for the second consecutive summer, succeeding Robin Benzing in the role. The team is completely committed to the gifted playmaker. “We don’t give Dennis enough credit as a German basketball country,” stated Moritz Wagner. What is remarkable is Schröder’s willingness to play for the national team for years.

Franz Wagner:

The Orlando Magic winger is the exceptional talent in the German team. At 22, Wagner is undoubtedly on his way to becoming an NBA star. “Franz is one of the elite players at Fiba level,” praised Coach Herbert. Whether as a thrower, passer or on the way to the basket: there is nothing on offense that the young Wagner cannot master.

Daniel Theis:

The center is coming out of a frustrating phase in which he sat on the bench for months with the Indiana Pacers. He quickly became important in the national team. Herbert called him the “best player that no one talks about.” Theis (31) is the recipient of Schröder’s templates offensively, an anchor defensively and the captain’s best friend off the field.

Johannes Voigtmann:

The 30-year-old has been an integral part of the team for years and holds his own against competition from the NBA in the competitive center position. On the field, he impresses with his versatility: Voigtmann brings power under the basket, but can also throw and distribute the ball.

Andreas Obst:

The “best thrower on the planet,” as co-captain Voigtmann called him after the victory over the USA. Obst (27) is in the starting line-up and is likely to receive offers from the NBA after his famous World Cup.

Moritz Wagner:

The 26-year-old is the good-mood bear in the German team. Franz Wagner’s older brother was missing due to injury a year ago, but he is now a guarantee – on and off the field. “Mo brings a special personality. He is very positive and has a lot of energy,” said coach Herbert.

Maodo Lo:

The playmaker, who acts as Schröder’s replacement and partner, will move to Olimpia Milano after the World Cup. With his speed and his throws, the 30-year-old is an important option off the bench. He stood out in the narrow victory over Australia.

Isaac Bonga:

The 23-year-old winger became even more important when Franz Wagner missed four World Cup games due to injury. Bonga has his strengths in defense and enriches the team that missed him last summer. Striking: The changing hair colors from blonde to pink.

Johannes Thiemann:

The secret winner of the German team at this tournament. Thiemann (29) reliably brings energy and gets rebounds; he hasn’t missed a shot in the last two games. He also helps the team with his always positive charisma.

Niels Giffey:

The 32-year-old is the nephew of SPD politician Franziska Giffey, who was Berlin’s governing mayor until April. In his mostly shorter appearances, Giffey impressed at the World Cup with his reliability and his good distance throwing.

Justus Hollatz:

The future of the German team after the Schröder era should belong to the playmaker. Hollatz (22) is moving to Anadolu Efes in Istanbul for the new season; the jump to the international class seems realistic. He plays a supporting role at the World Cup.

David Krämer:

The 26-year-old makes no secret of his role in the team. “I’m the twelfth man. It will look like I might play, maybe I won’t play at all. I have no problem with that.” Krämer played 17 minutes in four appearances.