|19 July 2011|
U20 European Championship
Spain is still unbeaten in the U20 European Championship after a 73-58 victory over Germany in the last game of Day 5 in the competition.
With this win Spain jump to 4-0 in the group yet still need to win tomorrow to secure the top spot.
Germany fell to 2-2 and still didn't lock their place in the Quarter-Finals, but can afford a reasonable loss to Turkey and still qualify.
Nikola Mirotic was once again the top scorer and rebounder for Spain with 22 points and 12 rebounds, Josep Franch added 14 and Joan Sastre added 12 with five rebounds and three assists.
Germany saw 11 points from Daniel Theis and Mathis Monninghoff added 10 while Patrick Heckmann struggled against the aggressive Spanish defense and finished with only five points in 20% from the floor and five turnovers.
The final 15 point gap hides the almost three close quarters in which the lead changed hands nine times and the score was tied in seven different points of the game.
A very active start by Mirotic wasn't enough to make a difference but after a short rest he returned to the floor and with four quick points helped Spain finish the first quarter with a 17-12 lead.
Mathis Monninghoff hit a three pointer and Dennis Kramer followed him to give Germany the lead as Germany surfed the momentum wave up to 21-28 inside the last three minutes of the half.
Sastre and Franch added points for Spain to make it feel comfortable at the half, as Germany held a small 28-30 gap.
Heckmann scored his only field goal in the game with a slash to the rim while Spain walked to the line and the lead change counter was working extra minutes.
Alejandro Barrera hit two big three pointers that pushed the Spanish team and their fans to a 51-42 lead with 2:30 more minutes on the third quarter clock,
Niels Giffey hit a jumper to cut the margin to only three early in the closing quarter but Franch with a long range arrow and Mirotic with a three point play locked another win deep in the pocket of the hosting team.
Tomorrow Spain will take on Italy as the winner will win the top spot in the standings while Germany will face Turkey in a decisive game.