In a dynamic opening match of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, Germany wasted no time in asserting their dominance as they triumphed over Japan with an impressive score of 81-63 at the Okinawa Arena. The German team faced early resistance from the hosts, but a pivotal jumper by Dennis Schroder ignited an 11-0 run that propelled them to a commanding 21-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
This initial surge set the tone for the rest of the game, with Germany firmly in control and promptly responding to any attempts by Japan to rally. The German squad showcased their defensive prowess, preventing Japan from finding a rhythm and maintaining their advantage throughout the match.
Moritz Wagner emerged as the driving force behind Germany’s victory, delivering an outstanding performance with a game-high 25 points. Wagner’s efficiency was on full display as he shot an impressive 10-of-14 from the field. Additionally, he contributed 9 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block, solidifying his impact across all facets of the game in just over 23 minutes of play.
Germany’s win was a result of a well-balanced offensive effort, with multiple players making significant contributions on the scoreboard. Dennis Schroder tallied 14 points, Daniel Theis added 13 points, and Franz Wagner chipped in with 10 points. This collective offensive display was further emphasized by Germany’s cohesive teamwork, which led to 21 assists as a unit. Their efficient shooting, at 48 percent from the field, underscored their control of the game.
With this victory, Germany now shares the top spot in Group E with Australia, who secured a convincing 98-72 win over Finland. As a result, the upcoming clash between Germany and Australia holds significant importance, as the victor will claim the top seed moving into the Second Round of the Group Phase.
Gordie Herbert, Head Coach of Germany, highlighted the impact of key players who were absent due to injuries in the previous year. He praised Moritz Wagner’s offensive contributions and emphasized his essential role in the team’s success.
On the opposing side, Tom Hovasse, Head Coach of Japan, acknowledged his team’s energy but recognized the challenges they faced in executing their game plan. The absence of key players and their subsequent substitutions disrupted their rhythm and prevented them from effectively countering Germany’s dominant performance.
Germany’s victory marked a significant setback for Japan in their FIBA Basketball World Cup debut. Despite playing in front of a supportive crowd of 6,000 fans, Japan was unable to seize the lead against Germany’s determined performance. With subsequent matches against Australia and Finland on the horizon, Group E action in the Land of the Rising Sun promises to deliver more exciting clashes.