Spain's defensive collective held Israeli star Omri Casspi to just 11 points in finishing a perfect 3-0 in Group C of the U20 European Championship Men with a 77-73 victory over Israel on Sunday.
While Casspi was a shadow of himself, Spanish big man Xavier Rey Sanuy collected 23 points and 20 rebounds with Marc Fernandez chipping in 14 points and four steals.
Casspi, who came in as the tournament's top scorer at 26.5 points per game, was held to just five shots in the game and committed four turnovers.
Yogev Ohayon did his best to pick up the slack with 19 points while Guy Mekel had 17 points.
|Omri Casspi was held by the Spanish|
Spain jumped ahead 14-2 on their way to a 21-8 lead after one quarter. Israel's sharp-shooting (eight-of-19 for the game from three-point range 42%) brought them back into the game in the second and were even 38-38 at the break.
Two Fernandez three-pointers sparked a 13-2 run to start the third period, but Israel again came back to within 60-55 after three.
Spain yet again started strong with Rey's three-point play opening a 10-point lead - 65-55. Treys by Casspi and Noam Matalon helped Israel to draw even again at 67-67.
Down 76-72 with nine seconds to go, Casspi was fouled shooting a three-pointer but made just one of three free throws, and Fernandez's foul shot with three seconds remaining finished the game.
Croatia saved it until late to finally overwhelm FYR of Macedonia 88-70 in securing their spot in the Qualifying Round.
Croatia saved it until late to finally overwhelm FYR of Macedonia 88-70 on Sunday in Group C and secure their spot in the Qualifying Round of the U20 European Championship Men.
Franko Filipovic scored 19 points for Croatia and Filip Vukicevic added 12 points and 12 rebounds in leading Croatia to a 1-2 record and third place in Group C.
FYROM, who lost all three games, were paced by 16 points from Vojdan Stojanovski and 12 from Kiril Nikolovski.
FYROM led 24-20 after one period and 42-35 at half-time and 57-55 in the early moments of the fourth quarter.
But Croatia went on an 18-0 run to blow the game open.
Spain (3-0) and Israel (2-1) advance to the Qualifying Round Group F along with Croatia (1-2) and all three teams will play co-hosts Italy, Georgia and Bulgaria.
FYROM will now play in the Classification Games to decide which two teams are relegated to Division B.