Germany drops Israel 84-80 to sweep pair of World Cup qualifiers

Israel fell 84-80 to Germany for the second time in as many games in FIBA World Cup qualifying as the addition of Tamir Blatt from Euroleague team ALBA Berlin was not enough to will the blue-and-white to the victory. Guy Goodes’s squad threw away a 15-point lead late in the third quarter as their record moved to 2-2 with two games remaining in late June for a chance to advance to the second round of qualifying.

With Gal Mekel injuring his hand just prior to the game, Blatt manned the point for Israel and was able to control the tempo early on finding Tomer Ginat and Jake Cohen for baskets over the course of the first half, but Maodo Lo helped Gordon Herbert’s team take a 39-34 lead into halftime.

Israel busted out in the third quarter with 3-pointers a plenty from Rafi Menco, Nimrod Levi and Blatt while Dawson and Ginat led the visitors to a 15-point lead, but points by Christian Sengfelder and Justus Hollatz at the end of the frame cut the lead to 65-54 with ten minutes to go.

Germany celebrates – Photo Credit: FIBA

Sengfelder and Michael Kessens continued to chip away at the lead while Germany’s three Euroleague players Johannes Theimann, Andreas Obst and Lo pushed the hosts in front as time ticked away to snatch the win top go to the top of Group D with a 3-1 record while Israel sits in second place at 2-2.

Guy Goodes – Photo Credit: FIBA

“Both games were disappointing as we were leading by 11 points and we let Germany come back in the first game and this time we lost our concentration after a 15-point lead,” Goodes said following the game. “The two offensive rebounds that Germany took were crucial. We feel disappointed because we played extremely well. This is basketball and it’s a game of mistakes. We have to correct these things in June.”

Tamir Blatt – Photo Credit: FIBA

Blatt also commented on the defeat, “There’s not much to say, it’s unfortunate. I felt we were controlling the game I felt we were playing well. But Germany won the game in the last quarter.”

“I don’t think we played our best basketball today but we found a way to win,” coach Herbert explained. “I am very happy to have gone 2-0 in this window and now we go forward.”

Sengfelder who played a key role in both victories reflected on the win, “We are very happy we won the game and we showed a lot of character in this window.”

Jake Cohen – Photo Credit: FIBA

Tamir Blatt made his presence felt right from the get go as he thread the needle to Tomer Ginat in the paint for Israel’s first bucket of the game, Robin Benzing answered with a 3-point play for Germany, Jake Cohen squared up for a triple while Justus Hollatz did the same from the corner as the hosts led 6-5 midway through the first quarter. David Kramer completed a 3-point play, Ginat scored in the paint, Cohen drilled another 3-pointer and Bar Timor took the ball strong to the hoop but Christian Sengfelder and Maodo Lo went from deep as did Shawn Dawson while Yam Madar’s deuce tied up the game at 20-20 after ten minutes of end to end action.

Bar Timor – Photo Credit: FIBA

Timor began the second quarter with a layup, Lo nailed a 3-pointer, Ginat answered with a 3-point play but Johannes Thiemann kept the score all knotted up at 27-27 with six minutes to go in the first half. Kramer, Benzing and Lo scored inside, Ginat did the same at the other end and hit a 3-pointer, but Michael Kessens added a pair of baskets to give Germany a 39-34 advantage at halftime.

Tamir Blatt – Photo Credit: FIBA

Rafi Menco and Blatt opened the third quarter with 3-pointers, Cohen scored a runner, Lo, Dominic Lockhart and Thiemann responded with layups, Nimrod Levi put in points as did Ginat to give Guy Goodes’s team a 46-45 lead midway through the period. Levi nailed a 3-pointer, Ginat added points as did Blatt while Levi and Ginat scored yet again and Dawson added a layup as well to give Israel a 15-point lead but Sengfelder and Hollatz closed the gap to 65-54 after thirty minutes of play.

Shawn Dawson – Photo Credit: FIBA

Sengfelder began the fourth quarter with points, Kessens added a bucket but Blatt came back with a triple as the final frame got off to a furious start as Dawson fed Cohen for a layup but Sengfelder and Kessens cut the Israel lead to 70-65 with 5:53 left in regulation time. Madar cleaned up a Ginat miss, Lo came back with a pair of baskets, Obst hit a 3-pointer and Thiemann added a bucket and Obst added another deuce to put Germany back in the drivers seat 76-75 with 1:45 to go.

Germany celebrates – Photo Credit: FIBA

Blatt went one for two from the line, at the other end Germany grabbed a couple of offensive boards as Thiemann scored in the paint, Lo added a pair from the line but Menco drilled a triple to pull Israel to within 1-point 80-79 with 15 seconds. But Kramer scored a pair from the charity stripe and Benzing added a layup as Germany wrapped up their second win in as many games against the blue-and-white.

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  1. Joeseph blow

    Tough loss. Any idea why Zoosman wasn’t active ? What is our status to qualify for World Cup ?

    • Joshua Halickman

      Zoosman is injured. If we finish the group 4-2 after the next two games we would be in very good shape to qualify but would have to make it through a second qualification round in the summer ahead of the Eurobasket.

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