Today started the Qualification Round of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim with the games of the second phase. The results from the first round are taken into account. Here is a quick review of the games from today from a statistical point of view. Europeanprospects.com will be back in Mannheim on Friday for the semis and the final games on Saturday.
- In the bottom 8, Brazil had no trouble at all to beat New Zealand. The Junior Tall Blacks seem to be clearly the weakest team of the tournament. Greece managed to beat Argentina with 13pts and 8rebs from Linos Chrysikopoulos and 15 points of Marios Dermitzakis. China managed to win against Japan with 23pts of Quan Gu.
- France continues to fall as the team around Evan Fournier lost against Israel 68-64. Despite scoring 26pts, the forward from Nanterre is reported to be totally absent in defense. Additionally, there seems to be a major problem in the French team as next to Fournier, nobody is stepping up to overcome the absences of the injured Leo Westermann and Vincent Pourchot. The French press relates quotes of head coach Philippe Ory saying that the team has no Point Guard for this level right now despite the efforts of Mathis Keita who is not on the level of Westermann when it comes to managing game speed and control. The injury of Antonin Moynet is crucial as it takes away the only real outside threat of the French team. Israel on the other hand earned its first victory behind the versatility of Tomer Ber Aven who had 18pts 3asts and 5rbes while Oz Bleizer added 11 and Sean Labanowski 10.
- Australia destroyed Croatia 78-59 with two big runs in the 2nd and the 4th quarter. Mitchell Creek dominated the game with 26pts (12/14 FG), 8rebs, 5stls and 4asts while team captain Hugh Greenwood had 18pts and 8 boards. For Croatia, only Dario Saric stepped up with 16pts 4asts and 4rebs. This defeat eliminates Croatia already from the semi-finals while the Emus still have hope to reach the Final Four.
- Germany U18 continues their streak and remain unbeaten after the first four games. They had some problems with Italy in the beginning though but lock-down defense in the 2nd half (34-21 for Germany) helped them to qualify already for the semi-finals. Philipp Neumann forced less the shots (7/12 FG) and did the work in the paint with 16 boards and 6 blocked shots but still turned the ball over 6 times. Bill Borekambi continues his sober work in the paint with 17pts and 7rebs. Marco Ceron was shooting threes for Italy (4/8 3s) to score 21 while Giovanni Pini had a double-double with 11pts and 12rebs.
- Germany U17 remains unbeaten too after a huge win over Turkey. A box-and-one defense on Safak Edge put the Turkish team in trouble and gave Frank Menz’ team the necessary advantage to lead right from the start and a qualification for the Semi-Finals as bonus. Julius Wolf led the German team with 18pts while Paul Albrecht added 11.Now the two German teams will face each other to decide who will win the group.
- Team USA beat Spain despite 28 points of Jaime Fernandez and 19 of Joan Creus. A last quarter 28-17 run by the US where 4 players scored more than 17 points (Damian Leonard had 19, Royce Woolridge 17, Kevin Ware 22 and Ryan Boatright 19) helped the team of coach Krystkowiak to improve their record to 2-0 in the 2nd round. For Spain, they need a win over Croatia to qualify for the semi-finals tomorrow.
- The critics of an unequal group draw may slow down with the defeats of France and Croatia to Israel and Australia and the severe loss of Argentina to Greece. The so-called “group of death” saw three teams lose their first game in the 2nd round which proves that the teams from Group D were at least equal in terms of level to those of Group C.
- The top scorer of the tournament after 4 games is Evan Fournier with 24.2ppg. He is followed by Hongfei Shi from China with 19.0ppg and Ryan Boatright from the United States who averages 18.2ppg.