ImageIn a thrilling game that was decided in the dying minutes, Dirk-less Germany managed to beat the current European champions, Russia by 76-73.

Germany started the game in a great fashion, with Femerling being their ebst player and leading 6-0. Although Russia managed to drop the points margin down to two at some point, Germany made a 12-0 run and the first quarter was finished with the score being 26-12 to Germany.

Passing the ball inside the paint Germany not only sustained their big lead but actually increased it and the score was 44-25 just before the half time when Russia managed to score some quick baskets to go to the locker rooms being behind 45-31.

With Bykov picking up where he left in the game against Latvia Russia made the score 45-37 but when Mozgov was fouled out for Russia things looked grim for them as they fell behind by 64-50. Nevertheless Russia has not said its last word just yet and in the last quarter with a 10-0 run the a period of three minutes they brought the game to its minimum possible difference, 66-65. But in the end Russia was punished by its own players who failed to convert free throws into points and Germany grabbed their first victory, which allows them to dream of even better results.

Germany 76-73 Russia

Germany: Staiger 7, Schaffartzik 13, Schultze 9, Ohlbercht 9, Wysocki, Hamann 5, Greene 4, Pleiß, Harris, Femerling 4, Benzing 6, Jagla 19 (11 rebounds)
Russia: Vorontsevich, Kurbanov 6, Bykov 11 (3/11 FT), Fridzon 6, McCarty 12, Dmitriev, Sokolov 3, Vyaltsev, Monya 10, Ponkrashov 12, Zozulin 6, Mozgov 7

Game quotes:

Jagla: "Of course it's tough being on the bench, especially in a game like that. But we have a great bunch of guys. Our biggest strength this summer is that we've been playing well collectively. I mean for a 20-year-old to step up and hit that shot … unbelievable."

Fridzon: "We knew that the German team was very strong on offense and defense. In the first half we were not so prepared that they would be so tough on defense."

Blatt (Russia head coach):
"I don't know what to say about the free throws. Sometimes it's contagious. If you see one guy miss, others miss as well."