Montenegro Beat Germany Into Quarters

17 July 2013

U20 MEN

Masan Vrbica (Montenegro)
Red-hot from downtown: Masan Vrbica exploded for 30 points against Germany

Masan Vrbica poured in 30 points on 6-for-7 three-point shooting on Wednesday and propelled Montenegro to a 75-64 triumph over Germany and a spot in the quarter-finals of the Spotland U20 European Championship.

Germany meanwhile finished at 2-3 in Group E and have missed out on a place in the last eight of the tournament.

The Germans did most things well on Wednesday, but Montenegro hit 11 of their 23 shots from behind the arc and put in an intensive effort on defence to force 12 German turnovers, off which they scored 10 valuable points.

Vrbica in particular was unstoppable and his feat is particularly impressive considering he had previously shot 30 percent from long range and averaged seven points per encounter.

Montenegro led right from tip-off, built a double-digit lead swiftly and reached the interval holding a 40-28 cushion.

They maintained their advantage to double-digit levels until Germany, conscious that the clock to get aboard the quarter-finals train was ticking, decided to launch their assault.

The Germans kicked off the final frame by outscoring Montenegro 8-2 and then Stephan Haukohl sunk two free throws to bring them within three points, 58-55, with 4:48 left to play in the game.

Vrbica however hit a jumper to restore a five-point lead for Montenegro and after Bogdan Radosavljevic split two free throws to reduce the gap to four, Milos Latkovic calmly drilled a triple to bring Montenegro up again by seven, 63-56 with just 2:54 on the clock.

Radosavljevic converted an and-one play to give Germany a last hope but the omnipresent Vrbica put it to rest with one more of his three-pointers that made it 66-59 for Montenegro with just 55 seconds remaining.

Vrbica rounded up his 30-point performance with five assists, three rebounds and two steals and Latkovic finished with 16 points for Montenegro; meanwhile Radosavljevic had 22 points for Germany in defeat.


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