Spain and Israel move into their top-of-the-table Group C clash both undefeated at 2-0 following comfortable victories Saturday at the U20 European Championship Men in Gorizia.
Xavier Rey Sanuy led four starters in double figures as Spain had no problem dismantling F.Y.R. of Macedonia 93-60, and Omri Casspi paced the way for Israel with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 77-64 win over Croatia.
|Omri Casspi led Israel to victory|
Rey scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Marc Fernandez had 15 points, Pau Ribas 13 and Albert Teruel 10 for Juan Antonio Orenga's Spanish side. Ribas and Sergio Llull each had six assists as well.
FYROM, who dropped to 0-2 in the group, were led by 15 points from Vojdan Stojanovski and 12 from Kiril Nikolovski.
Spain, playing without the suspended Alfonso Sanchez, out-rebounded the Balkan nation 39-24 but needed some time to pull away from FYROM.
Marjan Lazovski's team scored the first four points and led 8-7. They only trailed 23-22 before going down 28-22 after the first period. A 19-7 run put Spain ahead 47-29 and the Iberians led 53-36 at the break.
Spain came out of the locker-room like raging bulls and used a 20-5 run to move ahead 78-46 after three periods.
FYROM fought to within 25 points - 81-58 - with 6:18 to play, but Orenga's hungry defenders shut down Stojanovski and company with a 12-2 run to finish the game.
Croatia meanwhile stayed with Israel for the first half before a 15-5 run to start the third quarter opened a 12-point lead.
"We didn't start well, but as the game progressed we played better. In the second half we played better defense, and that made a big difference. Once we stopped missing lay-ups we had a chance to take off. Now we must beat Spain. That will give us a big advantage for the next stage," said Israel coach Yakov Gino.
Elishay Kadir had 16 points and Gal Mekel added 14 for the Israelis while Luka Drezga paced the Croatians with 17 points and Ante Tomic had 12.
Croatia are 0-2 and face FYROM (0-2) on Sunday ahead of the Spain-Israel match.