Israel shocked Spain 59-52 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Under-20 European Championships as Noam Yaacov and Danny Wolf once again rose to the occasion to take the surprise victory. Head coach Elad Hasin’s squad saw the dynamic duo of Yaacov and Wolf combine for 37 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to send the blue-and-white into yet another knockout matchup this time against Germany on Thursday at 9pm.
Israel got off to a fast start as Ron Zipper and Noam Yaacov got busy but Michael Caicedo and Juan Nunez helped Spain close the gap as the blue-and-white help onto a slim 17-16 lead after ten minutes of play. Pablo Tamba and Ruben Dominguez found points for Spain while Danny Wolf and Yaacov countered for Elad Hasin’s team as they took a 34-32 advantage into halftime.
Wolf and Yaccov kept finding the bottom of the basket as the third quarter opened up in a frenzy but Juan Nunez and Dominguez helped spur Spain on a 13-0 run to take a 45-42 lead after thirty minutes of action. Yaacov and Wolf kept up the scoring spree in the fourth quarter, Adria Rodriguez put in back to back layups, but Yaacov and Wolf proved to be unstoppable down the stretch as Israel stunned the Spaniards to advance to the quarterfinals.
Wolf checked in with a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, Yaacov added 16 points and 7 assists while Zipper scored 7 points in the win. Dominguez led Spain with 10 points while Nunez and Rodriguez each had 8 points in the loss.
“I have one sentence for everyone, don’t eulogize the Israel National Team,” Hasin said after the win. “We did the unthinkable today and we beat the favorites to win the tournament a team that hast lost over the past couple of years. I am very proud of everyone, the entire staff, my assistants, Yoav and Amit, our psychologist, Pini Gershon, the parents that are here, everyone. Never eulogize Israel.”