MANILA — Dennis Schroder has helped elevate German basketball to greater heights.
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The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup MVP spearheaded Deutschland’s perfect run in the tournament, putting up team-leading numbers of 19.1 points and 6.1 assists alongside 2.0 rebounds as they won all of their eight games until clinching Germany’s first-ever world title, Sunday night at the MOA Arena.
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But for Schroder, it was another German player and fellow NBA star that guided him into the player that he is today, and it is no other than Dallas Mavericks legend — Dirk Nowitzki
“He wasn’t my idol really, because he is not [the same with] my position. But when I got older and I got to the league, he was amazing,” Schroder said about the one-time NBA champion after the gold medal game.
“He said ‘Take my number down, whatever you need, just text me, call me,’ and since then, we have a good relationship.”
“[I have] nothing but love for him.”
“[He is] the best four-man ever, changed the game of basketball, and when he won a championship, he was the MVP as well,” said Schroder.
Deutschland head coach Gordie Herbert, who was sitting beside Schroder, then quickly chimed in and emphasized the 6-foot-1’s accomplishments that put him up there with Nowitzki as one of Germany’s greatest to ever play.
“Give him credit. He’s won the world championship with this team. He’s become the leader of this team. It’s time that you know we give him 100% respect in Germany,” said Herbert.
“He’s done something that nobody else has done in Germany,” pertaining to leading the squad to their historic World Cup title.
“I think people will realize now what he’s done and what he’s meant to German basketball, and how he’s become a leader of this team,” he added.
“You know, Dirk was before, Dennis is now. With complete respect to Dirk, Dennis has taken over. MVP, world championship, [and a] gold medal. He deserves 100% respect for what he’s done and where he’s taken this team,” ended Herbert.
MANILA — Tony Lascuña is determined to buck the odds and keep Clyde Mondilla from securing a third straight Philippine Golf Tour title at the ICTSI South Pacific Classic that starts on Tuesday in Davao City.
Mondilla has momentum on his side following his victories at Forest Hills in Antipolo last June, and at Del Monte Golf Club just last Friday.
“Clyde (Mondilla) is on a roll. His confidence is high and he’s playing great golf. It will be tough to beat him but there’s always a chance,” said Lascuña, who is also seeking to overcome a string of subpar performances since his victory at the Caliraya Springs leg last April.
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He tied for seventh at Luisita, wound up joint sixth at Valley, shared fifth place at Forest Hills and finished tied ninth at Del Monte.
“I’ve been working on my putting. I know I would yield some yardage off the tee against the Tour’s long hitters but I can measure up with them in hybrid or iron play and wedge shots. But the key here is putting,” added Lascuña.
Lascuña is familiar with the South Pacific Golf Club, having ruled the 2019 edition of the leg there by three strokes over Ira Alido.
He expects the next four days to be a toss-up, with the likes of Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour regulars Justin Quiban, Angelo Que and Lloyd Go, leg winners Reymon Jaraula, Rupert Zaragosa, Jhonnel Ababa and Alido, Dutch Guido van der Valk, and local aces Jay Bayron, Elmer Salvador, Elmer Saban, Ramil Bisera and Mhark Fernando all competing for the top spot.
Fil-German Keanu Jahns, who has had a number of runner-up finishes in the circuit, , is also back in the hunt seeking for the elusive win in the P2 million championship put up by ICTSI along with Cebu-based Japanese Gen Nagai and former PGT Asia leg winner Joenard Rates.
Lascuña hopes to get going early in the 7 a.m. group with Ferdie Aunzo, Anthony Fernando and Bayron, while Mondilla clashes with Zaragosa, Marvin Dumandan and Arnold Villacencio at 7:30 a.m., both on the first hole after the 7:20 a.m. flight of Que, Alido, Dino Villanueva and Paul Echavez.