Germans Remain Realistic


German coach Julia Gajewski is not really that concerned about her team's 74-44 loss at the hands of heavy favourites Serbia to open the U20 European Championship for Women.

Germany's goal remains the same as before it started Group A action in Chieti - stave off relegation to Division B.

The first step for Gajewski's players to achieving that goal, however, will be to realise that they are not in Italy just to be observers - a minor issue early on against the powerful Serbs.

"You could see that our players knew that the Serbs were the favourites and did not have any confidence whatsoever in themselves," Gajewski told

The coach said she was very disappointed that her team scored just 17 points in the first half. But she admitted that the 30-point loss was absolutely deserved.

Germany's next match in Group A comes on Saturday against France, who beat Germany handedly in the warm-ups to this tournament.

"We know that we will really have problems beating the French. Our goals are different than those of the French. But without thinking too far ahead, we need to think about trying to beat Italy, which will be very tough. And perhaps even playing against the other fourth-placed teams," the coach said.

The defeat to Serbia was not a total loss for the Germans, as Gajewski concluded.

"We take from this game that we can defend. Shortly after the start of the second half our defence got a lot better, how I know we can defend. And that led to stealing some balls and then some baskets and subsequently more confidence," she said.

"It's always like that. If we can defend then we score. Then you have self-confidence."

Germany will need all the confidence they can muster to stay top flight at the U20 level.



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