EUROBASKET 2015 QR
|Gal Mekel had a great all-round game for Israel|
Israel took the Netherlands by storm on Sunday in Cyprus to race to an 83-60 triumph, secure first place in Group B of the 2nd Qualifying Round and claim a berth at EuroBasket 2015.
The Israelis have improved to 4-1 in the standings while the Netherlands will face off with Montenegro on the final day of action for second place in the group.
On Sunday, Israel made their intentions crystal clear right from the start and claimed their first double-digit lead just 3:53 from the end of the opening quarter, as Guy Pnini sunk a jumper to bring them ahead 16-5.
Not content with that, the Israelis poured in the last 10 points in the period to reach the first buzzer with an impressive 26-5 lead.
Israel's advantage ballooned to thirty points, 48-18, before back-to-back personal plays from Worthy De Jong in the final seconds of the first half enabled the Dutch to reduce the gap to 48-23 by the half-time interval.
But Israel remained in absolute control of proceedings and despite the fact their defensive intensity dropped somewhat in the third period, the Dutch only came as close as 13 points, before a Raviv Limonad lay-up at the third buzzer restored the nominal hosts' 20-point lead, 62-42.
Omri Casspi delivered another great performance for Israel and finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Gal Mekel collected 16 points, six assists and five rebounds while Limonad chipped in with 14 points.
For the Netherlands, De Jong finished with 15 points and five boards and Nick Oudendag added 11 points and nine rebounds in losing efforts.