Henrik Rödl entered his first Olympics as a national basketball coach with clear ideas. “Playing against us should be uncomfortable, hard to calculate,” the 52-year-old said before the first-round match against Italy on Sunday (6.40am CST).
The German national team won the qualifying tournament in Croatia, returning to the summer matches after 13 years. Rödl would like to have a similar approach in Japan as the latter: “Of course we want to show the unity and team spirit in Tokyo that ultimately brought us success in Split. We’re ready, we can start.”
Rudel, who played as a Barcelona player in 1992 at the Olympics, warned against the opponent. “In general, they move very offensively and defensively,” Rudel said. “They have many good, fast goalkeepers who will challenge us to the limit. We also have to pay special attention to good shooters.” The most notable players are Danilo Gallinari, Nicolo Melli and Nicolo Magnion.
Golden State Warriors NBA’s Mannion watched the Super Cup in Hamburg from the bench as the German team won the match to win the championship (91:79). Gallinari (Atlanta Hawks) came to the team later for the North American NBA playoffs, as did Simon Fontechio, who was German champion with Alba Berlin that year.
Both, according to captain Ruben Benzing, are of “tremendous quality” and will give their team “another dimension”: “Italy are strong opponents. The Serbs have soared nothing in the qualifiers.”
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