Germany overcome Schroder 'stinker' to reach Basketball World Cup semis

MANILA: Playmaker Dennis Schroder said he had "probably the worst game I ever played" but Germany still booked their place in the Basketball World Cup semi-finals today with a win over giant-killers Latvia.

Toronto Raptors point guard Schroder scored only four of his 26 field-goal attempts as Germany edged Latvia 81-79 in Manila to set up a final-four showdown with the United States.

Franz Wagner made up for the shortfall by scoring 16 points for Germany, while Andreas Obst had 13 and Moritz Wagner had 12.

Schroder thanked his team-mates for bailing him out against a Latvia team that almost stole a win in the final seconds.

"That's probably the worst game I ever played in my career," said Schroder.

"But we're still in the semi-finals so shout out to all these guys in the locker room for helping me win this game.

"That's the reason why we're all together and we're a special team."

World Cup debutants Latvia had already beaten defending champions Spain and Tokyo Olympics silver-medallists France on their way to the quarter-finals.

They gave the unbeaten Germans a fright by jumping out to a 10-point lead after only five minutes, with Davis Bertans in deadly form from three-point range.

Germany eventually gained the upper hand before a barn-storming finish from Latvia made the score closer than Germany would have liked.

Germany head coach Gordon Herbert said his team had "a little bit of a stinker on the offensive end."

"I think one of the strengths of this group is we're a team, and our bench the last three or four games has been outstanding," he said.

"We're able to play 12 guys if necessary."

The result also eliminated Latvia from the race for one of the two Paris Olympic berths available for European teams at the World Cup.

Arturs Zagars was Latvia's top scorer with 24 points, followed by Bertans with 20 including six three-pointers.

Bertans said he was "extremely proud" of his team's performance.

"We battled in every single game," said Bertans, whose brother Dairis – the team captain – suffered a tournament-ending injury in the first round.

"I think we put ourselves in a position to win, not because of any individual players – because we played like a team, we played the right way and unfortunately we couldn't get it done at the end."

Latvia head coach Luca Banchi said a bad run at the start of the fourth quarter was fatal for his team's chances.

"We are not perfect but we are proud of our imperfections," he said. — AFP

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories