Israel sent Spain crashing to a second successive defeat at the ACI Trading Ltd U20 European Championship Men in Chekov today.
Spain suffered a 72-80 at the hands of Serbia & Montenegro on Friday, and although they came closer to a win against Israel, eventually succumbed 71-65.
Turnovers were the story of the game against Serbia & Montenegro and they proved to be just as costly on Saturday. Spain coughed the ball up a grand total of 25 times against Israel, with star guard Sergio Rodriguez responsible for 10 of those turnovers.
|Anton Kazarnovski came up big against Spain|
Israel's Lior Eliyahu has assumed the mantle of Israel's new young hope and there is already talk of him becoming his country's first NBA player. While Eliyahu produced a solid display (19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals), it was fellow inside player Anton Kazarnovski who was the man of the day as he racked up 23 points.
It was the 204 cm center's jump shot which gave brought Israel back from a 61-64 deficit with 3 minutes to go. He followed that up with 2 free throws to give Israel a 65-64 lead, after which Elad Eliyahu iced the win with a lay-up.
Spain had nobody but themselves to blame for the loss.
With the score tied at 65-65 and 2 minutes to go, Rodriguez committed an offensive foul which led to Eliyahu's lay-in. They had one more chance to tie the game, but Rodrigo San Miguel blew 2 free throws with 32 seconds on the clock, allowing Israel to hold on for the win, their second in succession.