|Captain Mauricio Marin gave his team a lift with 14 points and 3 rebounds|
by Yarone Arbel
Germany celebrated their debut win in the U16 European Championship with a 69-44 victory over Croatia at Sports Hall Topolica in Bar, Montenegro on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams finished their games in Group A as Germany registered their first win and Croatia lost for the first time, but the final standings weren't effected by this outcome.
Croatia was secured in the top spot before the game, while Germany couldn't escape from the bottom even with the 25 point win.
Drazen Brajkovic, coach of Croatia, chose to rest his best players and give some of his back ups more playing time since the game didn't effect the standings.
Germany used this to gain more confidence towards the Classificaion Round.
Mauricio Marin had 14 points, Robin Jorch scored 13 while Phillip Daubner and Paul Zipser scored 10 each.
Nikola Urli was the top scorer of Croatia with 16, Mislav Brzoja added 11 and Filip Bundovic contributed 10.
Croatia used the better start as Bundovic dominated the paint and had a big say with his post up game, enough to make it a 13-21 score after 10 minutes.
The big change came in the following quarter when the back up squad of Croatia was limited to only seven points, and that's exactly what was needed to create a 30-28 German lead at the half time stop.
The momentum stayed with Germany after the rest, as Marin helped his team to hit the first eight points in the third quarter and put a 10 point lead on the scoreboard.
Urli stepped up and connected twice from the perimeter early in the last quarter to make it just a six point game, 46-40 but until the final buzzer Croatia added only four more points against 23 at the other end and suffered a heavy loss.