Israel took care of Germany 75-64 to advance to the Under-20 semifinals as the young blue-and-white put in a well balanced attack with four players featuring in double digits in the victory. Ron Zipper and Yuval Levin set the tone early for Elad Hasin’s squad and took some of the offensive burden off of Noam Yaacov and Danny Wolf who had been handling the majority of the scoring at the tournament in Heraklion, Greece.
Next up for Israel will be a semifinal date on Saturday night against Belgium after they shocked Lithuania 77-71 in their quarterfinal contest, coming back from 17 points down at halftime. The blue-and-white will look to avenge a 70-54 group stage loss to the Belgians as they ready to do battle once again at the Heraklion Arena “Dyo Aorakia”. The finals and third place game of the Under-20 European Championships will take place on Sunday at the same facility.
Zipper led the way with 23 points, Levin added 18 points, while both Wolf with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Yaacov with 13 points and 10 assists each checked in with a double-double. Schroder scored 15 points to pace Germany in the loss.
Yuval Levin and Ron Zipper got Israel on the board early on in the first quarter for Israel but Sananda Fru and Alexander Richardson gave Germany a slim 17-16 lead after ten minutes of play. Noam Yaacov and Danny Wolf both started to get into the game as the second quarter got underway, Jacob Ensminger and Benjamin Schroder both helped Germany keep pace but Wolf with a late triple as the clock ran down handed the blue-and-white a 31-25 advantage at halftime.
Levin and Zipper began the third quarter just as they did the opening period as they quickly helped Elad Hasin’s team take control, Schroder and Fru tried to stay with Israeli but Yaacov and Wolf from deep and via dunks bumped up the lead to 56-41 after 30 minutes of action. Ido Harel and Ofek Gol scored as the fourth quarter got underway but Schroder and Maximilian Langenfeld started to cut into the lead, however, Zipper went from deep to put the finishing touches on the win.
“We did a good job and were very prepared for this game,” Hasin said following the contest. “In the morning before the game we looked at the video and the guys came in with everything they had. The ball went in and we enjoyed the final result. We will take it game by game and stay modest and we will do our best against whoever we will play against next.”
The game MVP Ron Zipper added, “We’re very happy with the win but we are still in the middle of our mission. We will give it our all.”