Spain progressed to the Eurobasket semi-finals after beating Germany 84-72 in the last eight.
The victory sends the favourites on course even though they were no where near their best. Germany hung around for the first half and paced by Dennis Schroder, looked in good stead to mount a serious challenge on the reigning Eurobasket champions.
Marc Gasol though had other ideas as he hit 14 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter to stretch Spain’s lead to 65-53 as they surged clear of a tired German side who could not recover.
Marc’s brother Pau was far from his best, but still added 15 points for the winners. Schroder led Germany with 27 points but he found little help on the scoring front with only Daniel Theis able to reach double figures as well with 15.
Germany had the better of the opening exchanges as they had a 19-16 edge after the first quarter and a three-pointer from Maodo Lo stretched their lead to six in the opening possessions of the second period. Spain though hit back and Juancho Hernangomez tied the scoreline at 27-27 with 5:57 left in the half.
Both teams though were guilty of sloppiness, numerous turnovers and missed lay-ups were a norm. The holders relied on Hernangomez and Pau Gasol to keep them ahead at the half 34-33.
The Germans managed to snatch the lead back in the early stages of the third until Spain, led by Marc Gasol wrestled back the lead, only this time for good.
Spain’s lead peaked at 17 points as Germany found no other scoring touch apart from Schroder, but despite the loss, there are positives for the national team after two straight Eurobasket group stage eliminations.