ImageIn a very tight and close game which would determine the last team (from Griup E) who would make it to the quarter finals, Croatia beat Germany 70-68.

Croatians started the game impressively and took the lead 14-3 led by Ukic. Jagla and Schaffartzik carried Germany and with personal points made the score 15-14 and the first quarter ended 20-19 to Croatia. In the second quarter Croatia passed the ball to Banic and Nicevic who not only increased Croatia's lead to 36-27 but also loaded Jagla and Femerling with personal fouls. Germany managed to cut the lead to five before half time, 37-32.

Germany knew that it was a do-or-die match, so they were very decisive in the beginning of the second half, and four minutes before the end of the third quarter they cut the difference down to tow, 43-41. Finally, just 50 seconds before the end of the quarter the Germans took the lead for the first time in the game, 49-48!

The Germans continued playing good defense in the last quarter too and increased their lead to five, 57-52 but the Croatians had the answer and with a 9-0 run made the score 61-57, with three minutes to go. Then they proceeded to increase their lead to six, 64-59 with one minute to go. Schaffatzik scored two incredible threepointers in a row but Ukic and Planinic converted their free throws and led their team to the quarter finals of the tournament. Final score was 70-68 to Croatia.


Croatia: Ukic 18, Kus 2, Popovic 8, Vujcic, Prkacin, Rozic 3, Planinic 11, Loncar 6, Banic 7, Nicevic 10, Kasun 2
Germany:  Staiger 6, Schaffartzik 18, Schultze 5, Ohlbrecht, Wysocki, Hamannn 8, Greene 2, Pleiß, Harris, Femerling 15, Benzing 3, Jagla 11

Game quotes:

Roko Leni Ukic: "It was a very hard game. We broke the game with a three-pointer in last minutes. I'm proud of my team because we didn't play good basketball but we showed character."

Jasmin Repesa (Croatia Coach): "I like the German mentality because they never stop, they never quit. Our first goal was to reach the Quarter-Finals. Now we want to go to Turkey for the next championship. To reach this goal and others the way we played is not enough. I hope we will be better mentaly in the next round."

Patrick Femerling: "Congratulations to our opponents. We played great basketball. In basketball sometimes little things make difference, one three-pointer or a rebound here or there. And in this game it hap pened."

Dirk Bauermann (Germany Coach): "First of all I would like to thank the Polish Basketball Federation, organisers and all the people from Poland. You guys were great. Everybody was extremely friendly. It was a bad ending of a wonderful summer. They deserved to win."