The favourites from Germany took an expected victory when Euro 2003 tipped off in Norrköping. But Israel got closer and closer at the end of the game. In their hunt for the Germans, they committed too many fouls and failed to get even. Germany won the first game with 86-81.
|Stefano Garris (Germany)|
When the second quarter started, Germany's coach Henrik Dettmann chose to let his best players sit on the bench. Israel responded and shot five straight points. Nowitzki and Okulaja came on the court again. Israel did not have the best concentration in their shots, Germany took many rebounds and attacked with speed. Nevertheless, Israel won the second quarter with one point. But Germany was still the better team.
After the half time break, Germany continued to score the easy points, while Israel had to fight harder for theirs. Both teams were not looking very sharp, and the scoring was low. Israel's Meir Tapiro was the exception and kept his team in the game with some good 3-pointers.
|Dirk Nowitzki (Germany)|
"Too bad, we were really close at the end of the game. But we did too many stupid things when we needed our points. But this was still a step forward for us", said Israel's Yoav Saffar.
"My foot still hurts, but I want to play", explained Germany's Ademola Okulaja.