Germany put the disappointment of their heavy defeat to Lithuania behind them to run up a big 79-53 win of their own against a disappointing Slovenia side in Group D.
More was expected of Slovenia after their good display yesterday against Croatia.
Their star of that game, Dino Muric, who scored 37 of his side’s points against the Croatians wasn’t able to repeat his performance.
|Dino Muric could not replicate his day one performance with only six points.|
He finished the game with six points after good German defending forced him to miss eight of his nine two point field goals.
“Our height in defence was the key today”, explained Germany assistant coach Horst Schmitz.
“It meant that we could run the boards, force fast breaks and get second chances” he said, referring to Germany's rebounding dominance.
Germany, who again had Elias Harris and Robin Benzing performing well with 19 and 13 points respectively, took the lead with three minutes left in the first quarter and never let it slip.
Joining Benzing and Harris in double figures was Philipp Schwethelm, who scored a string of consecutive shots in the second quarter as Germany started to build a commanding lead of 45-23 by halftime.
Despite a slight drop in intensity from the Germans their dominance didn’t end in the second half, as Schwethelm went on to secure himself a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
It means that Group D is now the most open of the tournament.
“I think Lithuania will win and we will play Croatia for second place” predicted Schmitz,
“and you never know, we could be a surprise for many people in this tournament I think”.
Meanwhile, Lithuania go top of Group D tonight after their 86-68 win over Croatia left them as the only team in the group with a perfect record.
In a hard fought but eventually uneven contest Lithuania took control of the game right from the tip-off and never let go of their lead once.
Poor shooting from long range and a lack of accuracy from the free throw line effectively took Croatia out of the game.
Filip Kruslin scored an impressive 24 points for the Croatian side, while Mario Delas had another good game with a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop a Lithuania side that, for two games in a row took charge early on and never relented.
The pairing of the Lithuania number 10 and 11, Zygimantas Janavicius and Donatas Motiejunas, worked well again as the pair scored 18 and 17 points respectively and controlled the flow of the play on the boards.
Croatia may have lost the game but they seemed to have won the hearts of the Spanish fans who stayed behind after the Spain match to watch the game.
After the game a surprised looking Marko Radic stayed behind to pose for photos with local fans who had cheered him and his teammates throughout the match.