With pesic comes confidence: “180-degree turn”

Even in his little joke, heiko schaffartzik mixes in a little reverence for svetislav pesic. With a mischievous grin, the captain of the german basketball team was handed the microphone by the national coach after the 68:57 win against georgia. "Thank you coach. He does everything for us," said schaffartzik in leipzig after the micro-transfer during the press conference on the successful dress rehearsal for the upcoming european championship qualifiers. "He demands a lot, but he also gives a lot."

Above all, the 1993 european champion coach has breathed new confidence into a severely out-of-sorts team with a new playing philosophy right at the start of his second term in office. Schaffartzik describes the difference to pesic’s performance as a "180-degree turnaround.

"Under dirk bauermann, everything was much more controlled in the offense," the 28-year-old forward recalled of the former select coach, "now we play much faster, more fast breaks. The players can also take bad shots. As long as the defense stands and the effort is right, everything is fine." and quickly followed up: "i don’t want to say that one style is better than another."

Before the first compulsory game after pesic’s return to the german coach’s bench on saturday in hagen against the basketball dwarf luxembourg, there are not only seven victories in nine preparatory games on the books. The generation change that was initiated after a mixed european championship in lithuania just under a year ago, when even a muder dirk nowitzki was unable to drive the german team to the quarterfinals, also seems to have been successfully initiated. The average age of the squad in leipzig was just 23.7 years, with only jan-hendrik jagla (31) being older than 28.

"We still lack experience in qualifying games," pesic has warned dismissively since the start of preparation in kienbaum. There the serb inculcated his understanding of the sport into the DBB basket managers. "He says the first decision that comes into your head is the best," flugel player robin benzing paraphrases the concept. "When we’re free, we’re supposed to push. If we can penetrate, we should penetrate. This is a good characteristic of him."

To book the desired ticket for the european championship 2013 in slovenia, a second place in the group with the other opponents bulgaria, sweden and azerbaijan is already enough. But as with the sharp instructions on the sidelines, pesic leaves no doubts about his ambitions with clear words and declares the european championship participation a national task: "we now have very important matches for germany. We have to qualify."His players were allowed to make individual mistakes on the court, but the success coach did not plan for a major failure.

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