by Dan Casey
|Agusti Sans led a balanced Spain attack with 12 points, while also picking up three steals|
Spain handed Germany their first loss of the tournament and secured a Quarter-Final place with a 54-42 win in Hradec Kralove.
Spain shot just 28% in the contest, but a superb defensive effort forced 30 turnovers from the German team. A tight game was blown open in the third quarter as Spain held the German team to just five points in the period.
Coach Diego Ocampo was proud of the defensive effort after the game, but hoped for more from his offense in future games: "It was a tough game because we knew that Germany would never give up. If you defend, you can always compete. But we need to improve, we had too many turnovers and missed shots today."
Spain started the game the better team, and took a 15-9 lead in the first quarter. But in the second quarter Germany fought back and Spain had a 27-25 lead before Alberto Martin drained a three-pointer with 0:44 remaining in the half.
The second half was initially low-scoring but Spain found their rhythm and went on a 15-1 run in the final 5:55 of the period.
Facing a 16-point deficit, Germany immediately turned to Ismet Akpinar who drained a three-pointer, but Ferran Ventura replied quickly and though the German defence held Spain scoreless for 6:32 in final period, they couldn't find a way through at the other end of the court.
Agusti Sans led Spain with 12 points and 3 steals, and Martin added 11 points. Akpinar top-scored for Germany with 12 points in the defeat.