Thomas Schreiner is a 27 year old 195cm point guard from St Polten, Austria that will be playing his third season with Spanish team MoraBanc Andorra (Spain-Liga Endesa)helping them move up this season to division one. He started his basketball career in 2003 for : UKJ SUBA St.Polten (B Bundesliga) where he played until 2006. In the 2006-2007 season he played for BSC Raiffeisen Furstenfeld Panthers (A Bundesliga): Stage 1: 21 games: 3.1ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.8bpg; Stage 2: 14 games: 7.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0apg, 2.3bpg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 71.4%. Then in 2007 he returned back to St Polten where he played until 2011. In the 2011-2012 season he played for ECE Bulls Kapfenberg (A Bundesliga). Since 2012 he has been playing for Andorra. Currently he is a member of the Austrian national team and spoke to German Hoops about the do or die game for Germany against Austria on Sunday in Hagen.
Thomas thanks again for talking to German Hoops. If someone had told you before the start of the 2015 Euroqualifying that with two games to go Austria would be at the top of the standings with a 3-1 record, what would you have thought knowing of the tough competition of Germany and Poland?
Going into the group it was obvious it wouldn’t be easy to compete for the two spots. But I always knew that if we played our best basketball we would have our chances.
With the exception of 5 minutes where Austria lost concentration letting Germany back into the game, Austria should be 4-0 now. From your view as a guard who sees the game in front of you, how has the Austrian game developed since game one until now?
I think the main way we have improved since game one is that we are in better control of our ups and downs. Also, with each game we are getting more and more used to playing with each other.
Congrats on the 80-71 win against Luxemberg. They poured in 28 points early, but from then on Austria took control. What defensive adjustments did Austria make in order to turn the game around?
First of all I want to give credit to Luxembourg, they made a lot tough shots in the first half. We were able to increase the intensity on the defensive end in the second half and take control of the game.
If there is anything that one can criticize in the Austrian game were the 19 turnovers. Against Germany and Poland, the team kept the turnovers down. Is this something you will work on more before the game against Germany even if your next opponent Germany were harmless on the defensive end against Poland.
For us it is important to keep our turnovers down. If we want to have a chance in the next two games we have to limit them like we did in the first games.
Tom Schumacher led all scorers with 19 points and is a top player in the league in Luxemburg. Can a player like you take something from his game like you can from a Heiko Schaffartzik when you are playing against each other? Can a player like a Schumacher get underrated simply because he comes from a small country like Luxemburg?
Yes, I think it it hard to get recognized when you come from a country like Luxembourg or Austria, but he is definitely a good player. He’s proved it in the last couple of games and has the talent to play in a better league.
How happy have you been with your individual performance averaging 9,0ppg, 2,3rpg and 3,5apg. You haven´t been the scorer so much, but have had an important part in the organization.
I don’t care about statistics but only about winning. I’ll do whatever the team needs to win.
A huge final on Sunday in Hagen against Germany. You will be playing in the living room of your ex teammate Larry Gordon. Germany has to win and Austria is seeking revenge for their loss against Germany. How much are you looking forward to playing this huge game?
I’m very excited for this showdown against Germany. I love playing in games where there’s a lot on the line.
Germany stunk up the building In Bonn losing To Poland and showing little motivation. Are you still a bit surprised how Germany has been up and down? Winning by 40 vs Luxemburg and being given a basketball lesson by Poland. The end of qualifying in approaching and they still at times look like they just entered training camp in the summer?
I think Poland is a very strong and experienced team and it’s very hard to beat them. I think Germany is not playing on top of their potential because they did not have as much time to prepare for the qualification.
This is one of the biggest games for Germany in years and they will have much pressure. Austria has the upper hand and can go into the game with a 3-1 record and less pressure. Ingo Weiss form the German basketball federation stated that Germany will explode and win without a doubt. How much motivation does that give you sensing that Germany seems to have little respect for Austria´s performance in this qualifying round?
We don’t need any extra motivation for a big game like this. Having the possibility of an upset like this is more than enough motivation for us.
One last game against top German guards Dennis Schroeder and Heiko Schaffartzik. Is this the game of your life? With a win, Austria would qualify and give basketball a new level in a country dominated by soccer and ice hockey?
It would be very important for basketball in Austria to win against Germany and qualify. If we do win and qualify it would be the game of my life, so far!
If someone had told you before qualifying that England would lose twice to Iceland what would you have said? How crazy has this qualifying been this summer?
I know Iceland, I’ve played against them many times. They’re a small country but have many talented and good players. They have the quality to surprise other teams. In general I think every country has good coaches and players that practice hard, which is why I think there’ll always be upsets.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
I haven’t watched any movies lately, so it’s still Captain America 2.
Thanks Thomas for the chat.