Israel falls to Germany 71-67 in first of back-to-back World Cup qualifiers

Feb 25, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

The Israel National Team fell to Germany 71-67 as the Blue & White lost their first World Cup qualifier as their record moved to 2-1 after three games. Gordon Herbert’s squad outclassed Guy Goodes’s team with their size and physicality along with their clutch 3-point shooting from Robin Benzing and Justus Hollatz to take the 4-point win.

The Blue & White grabbed an early lead thanks to strong play by Tomer Ginat but Germany headed into halftime ahead 35-33 on points inside by Christian Sengfelder. While Ginat continued to score for Israel along with Nimrod Levi and Yam Madar to go up 56-51 in the final frame, Hollatz and Benzing began nailing their shots from the outside to snatch the road win.

Photo FIBA

Both teams will tip-off off once again on Monday in Heidelberg in the latter half of the back to back qualification games as Goodes’s squad will look to get back onto the winning track.

Ginat led the way with 20 points, Madar added 12 points and Levi chipped in with 9 points in the defeat. Benzing scored 17 points, Hollatz added 16 points and Sengfelder ended the game with 11 points in the win.

“We led in the fourth quarter and Hollatz made a couple of big shots off the dribble to cut the lead and Benzing put them up,” Goodes said following the game. “We had difficulties, we had too many ups and downs in this game.”

Ginat also reflected on the matchup, “We started the game really well but we didn’t find the way to run and play the open court. They took too many offensive rebounds and we let the hit some easy shots. We gave to go to Germany and win on Monday.”

Photo FIBA

“The staff and coaches are seeing what is going on in the world and it is pretty tough,” Germany coach Gordon Herbert said. “You never think this kind of thing would happen in the 21st century. We played hard and played with heart with committed players to take the win.”

Robin Benzing spoke about the victory, “I was lucky the last one went in and I had some open shots and good shots that I was to hit. The team trusts me and the coach trusts in me to shoot the ball and the last one went in.”

Rafi Menco went from deep to get Israel on the board early while Idan Zalmanson and Tomer Ginat followed that up with points in the paint while Justus Hollatz scored for Germany but the hosts stayed in front 7-4 midway through the first quarter. Captain Gal Mekel scored a layup, Robin Benzing hit a baseline jumper, Michael Kessens and Christian Sengfelder added points in the paint but Nimrod Levi put in a mini-hook to keep Guys Goodes’s squad in front 15-12 after ten minutes of play.

Photo FIBA

Sengfelder and Ginat traded triples to get the second quarter underway, Ginat then put in a 3-point play, Shawn Dawson found his first points since returning to the ranks of the National Team as he sliced to the hoop for a layup and then went from downtown to give the Blue & White a 26-17 lead with 6:55 left in the first half. Mekel fed Ginat with a bounce pass for a clean layup, David Kramer and Hollatz came back with 3-pointers for Gordon Herbert’s team while Sengfelder continued to score to put the Germans up 30-29 as the period wound down. Ginat and Jake Cohen scored but Benzing swished a 3-pointer and Sengfelder added points inside to keep Die Mannschaft in front 35-33 at halftime.

Yam Madar opened the scoring in the third quarter with a layup, Dominic Lockhart came back with a 3-pointer and Jonas Wohlfarth-Botterman dunked to bump up the Germany lead to 42-35 midway through the frame. Levi scored a pair of runners and Madar drilled a triple, Hollatz added points and Max Di Leo hit a triple but Ginat scored a 3-point play to give Israel a 51-49 lead after thrity minutes of action.

Yam Madar – Photo FIBA

Madar drilled home a triple and added a layup to begin the fourth quarter, Lukas Wank answered with a deuce and Robin Christen hit a 3-pointer as Israel clung to a 56-54 lead with 6:42 remaining in regulation time. Benzing and Hollatz nailed a couple from long distance, Madar scored at the other end but Hollatz again came up big for Germany as they took a 62-59 lead with 3 minutes left in the frame. Hollatz went from deep, Levi immediately responded, Benzing hit a midrange, Ginat scored in the paint, but Benzing scored another one from long range to wrap up the win in the first of two games between the squads.

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