|28 July 2014|
EUROBASKET 2015 2nd QR
|Germany head coach Emir Mutapcic was especially satisfied with his team's performance in the second half|
Germany trimmed their roster for the upcoming EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualification Round to 15 players and then proceeded to clinch a very encouraging result against World Cup bound Finland over the weekend.
On Friday, Germany head coach Emir Mutapcic announced that he had decided that Andrej Mangold, Bogdan Radosavljevic and Tim Ohlbrecht would not take part in the qualifying campaign and were therefore released from training camp.
The remaining 15 men on Germany's squad departed for Leipzig where, on Sunday, they faced Finland in their first warm-up game in full strength since the beginning of their training camp.
Finland, who have just started preparing for their maiden participation at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, edged ahead 39-37 just before the half-time interval.
With three minutes remaining to the end of the third period, Germany captain Heiko Schaffartzik put his team ahead 46-45 and immediately afterwards Elias Harris sunk two consecutive buckets, for the hosts to claim a 50-45 cushion.
Every time that Germany tried to open up the gap in the fourth Petteri Koponen hit a big shot to keep Finland within reach, but Harris and Dennis Schröder instigated a 6-0 run that brought the hosts ahead 71-61, with just 1:50 left on the clock.
This time around it was too late for Finland to react and Germany clinched a 74-67 success in front of their fans.
Harris paced the Germans with 13 points, Robin Benzing had 12 points and Daniel Theis finished with 11 points.
Meanwhile for Finland, Koponen collected a game-high 16 points and Gerald Lee added 13 points in losing efforts.
"This was our first game as a complete team and the first thing for us was to take the win," Mutapcic commented afterwards.
"Secondly, it was very good that we were able to raise our game in the second half, especially on defence.
"Considering the circumstances of the past few days I am happy with the performance, but we still have much potential.
"I am not satisfied with our display in the first half, when we took way too many three-pointers and also had problems dealing with the pick and roll."
|Dennis Schröder finished with seven points in his first game for the senior national team|
This friendly encounter in Leipzig was a particularly important occasion to Schröder, who only joined the rest of his team-mates last Wednesday.
The German point guard is poised to make his official debut with the senior national team in August, following his rookie season in the NBA, with the Atlanta Hawks.
"My ultimate goal is clearly the 2016 Olympics," Schröder said.
"Until then I will take it day by day and step by step.
"I will always be available for the national team and I am happy right now that my debut ended in victory."
Germany's 15-strong roster for the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualification Round right now includes: Danilo Barthel, Robin Benzing, Bastian Doreth, Elias Harris, Maximilian Kleber, Maodo Lo, Heiko Schaffartzik, Dennis Schröder, Andreas Seiferth, Lucca Staiger, Karsten Tadda, Daniel Theis, Akeem Vargas, Johannes Voigtmann and Maik Zirbes.
The Germans were drawn in Group C and commence their campaign on 10th August on the road, against Poland.
Finland meanwhile are facing reigning World champions USA in their opening game at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, on 30 August.