Franz Wagner was smiling in a good mood, the NBA pro could even take something out of the false start against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“In basketball, it’s always a bit up and down. That’s what makes the sport so cool,” said the 21-year-old after the 92:82 (42:47) in the second European Championship group game. The German team is right on course.

For a long time, the hosts in Cologne had problems with their opponents in front of 18,017 fans, and things did not go as hoped until the break. Nevertheless, things remained calm in the dressing room. “There was no shouting,” said Wagner: “There was a clear announcement that we have to defend better and play a bit more calmly in the offence.”

Basically, after the dream start against France (76-63), the team was “very self-confident. It should stay that way,” said Wagner. The next game on Sunday (2.40 p.m.) against the winless Lithuanians will again be “a challenge”.

“We will look to come out better than we did today,” said Johannes Voigtmann, referring to the third preliminary round match. The Baltics are a “very tough opponent”, said captain Dennis Schröder: “That’s a huge task.” He himself wants to improve: “I haven’t made any good decisions. I’ll watch the video again.”