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HomeBasketballGermany's historic win: "We controlled Giannis".

Germany’s historic win: “We controlled Giannis”.

The German national basketball team has scored a historic victory against Greece…. This success was mainly due to an outstanding defensive performance after the break.

There were early indications that history could be made this evening in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin. The German team started the game against the top favourite Greece in a furious manner. Eight of eleven three-point attempts landed in the basket, and the team scored 31 points after the first quarter. And yet the hosts were only leading by four points at that point, mainly because superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated the opponents. An exchange of blows between two teams on an equal footing took its course.

At the break, national coach Gordon Herbert’s team even trailed by four points, despite 57 strong points. “These players were on a mission,” said the 63-year-old, explaining why his team was able to shift up a gear or two after half-time, especially defensively. “The key was that we played more physical in the second half and got some stops and rebounded well,” said Maodo Lo. And, “We controlled Giannis,” said Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann.

What helped the Germans was visual lessons they had received on Sunday. “Everyone who saw the Czech game was able to draw their conclusions. We were very disciplined,” Johannes Thiemann referred to Greece’s Round of 16 match against the Czech Republic, which had at times blocked the superstar’s path to the basket with four men – but in the end could not muster the strength.

And the Germans were different, holding Giannis and the Greeks to one point even for a long time in the third quarter. “It’s just difficult to get through against the defence we played in the second half,” captain Dennis Schröder was pleased to say. The home side now played themselves into a frenzy – cheered on by the sell-out crowd – and didn’t let their opponents get any closer. “It’s fun. We did it against a top team,” said Lo, who was already thinking about the semi-final against Spain. “Now we have to prepare for the next game. “



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