Germans Avoid Relegation

24 July 2009

By David Hein

Robin Benzing scored 21 points and Thomas Schoeps made two free throws with eight seconds left to secure Germany a 75-72 victory over Israel and avoid relegation from the U20 European Championship Division A.

Benzing also grabbed nine rebounds and Schoeps scored 18 points while Philipp Schwethelm had 13 points and eight rebounds and Elias Harris scored 10 points as the Germans avoided being relegated one year after winning the U20 Division B title last summer.

"I have to give my team a big compliment for keeping their nerves in this difficult situation. I am proud that this team did not give up despite some hard times," said German coach Henrik Rodl.

"Of course we had planned on going for a different place in the standings. But after the two unlucky losses in the preliminary round (against Croatia and Serbia) we fought to get this important goal and reach our minimum goal of not being relegated."

Israel were relegated to Division B for the first time at the U20 level despite Amit Simhon scoring 16 points and Anton added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

In the other classification round game, Slovenia, who had already booked a spot back in the Division A next summer, blasted past relegated Belgium 79-67 with Zoran Dragic scoring 22 points.

In the classification round for 9th to 12th place, Latvia beat Serbia 74-67 with Kristers Zeidaks scoring 17 points.

Latvia will play Russia for ninth place after the Russians beat Ukraine 65-54 thanks to 19 points and 13 rebounds from Semen Antonov.


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