by Yarone Arbel
Germany can celebrate tonight after securing their spot in U16 European Championship Division A for one more year following today's results in the Classification Round at Osnovna Skola Jugoslavija in Bar, Montenegro on Saturday afternoon.
Germany beat Latvia 63-48 to take a 4-1 record and secure their spot in the top stage for one more year, as the Latvians still need to fight for their spot against Israel.
The Israeli squad wrote a 75-62 win on Denmark, the keep the Danish without a win and tie their record on 3-2 with Latvia.
Tomorrow the game between Israel and Latvia will decide who is the team to join Denmark in the journey to Division B, and since the teams are now tied with their record the gap tomorrow won't matter.
The team to score one point more shall survive.
After needing a three pointer near the buzzer to beat Denmark in the first game, today Israel had an easier job with a 75-62 win as Egor Koulechov scored 17 and added nine boards, Maxim Kikus added 14 and Ishai Kislev added 13. As always Rasmus Larsen led his team with 21 points and 11 rebounds and this time he was joined by Peter Moeller with 21 points as well.
Israel left little doubt from the start, and with an 8-0 run finished the first quarter with a 17-7 lead, and after dashing to 16 points difference finished the first half up by just nine, 34-25.
Koulechov and Kislev were in charge of a third quarter run to push the gap back to 16, and make life a bit more comfortable in the last quarter, not before Denmark cut it to six only, 61-55 inside the last five minutes, only to see once again Kikus score from the perimeter and silence their hopes.
After dropping the game versus Israel the previous day Germany were focused in their 63-46 victory over Latvia as Mauricio Marin had 18 points, Paul Zipser added 11 and Dominic Lockhart finished with nine points and six rebounds. Ceslavs Mateikovics had 11 for Latvia and Oskars Reinfelds added nine.
Germany held just a six point lead at the half time break, 34-28 but limited Latvia on no more than two points in the entire third quarter, to extend their gap to 17 and keep their opponents far behind before the closing quarter.
Latvia hope to have enough energy for their key encounter with Israel as the two teams will fight for a joyful night of survivors.