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Albert Schweitzer Tournament 2012: Day 3 Recap

April 10th, 2012 · No Comments

After a day off, I was back in Mannheim to follow the third day of the 26th edition of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, this time in the MWS Halle in order to get a look on the eight other teams in the competition.

Israel – France 61-92

In the opening game, a place among the top 8 of the tournament was on the line between Israel and France. You could feel this right from the start as the Israeli team came to the court with a lot of energy driven Daniel Sealine and Idan Zalmanson. France struggled a bit in the beginning but found good shooting touch by their forward Guillaume Plas who netted 11 points in the first quarter coming from the bench. France made a first break when Anthony Racine came to the court to score another 8 quick points. But Israel did not give up with Sealine scoring a tough layup on the fast break with the foul. The difference remained around five points as Racine went back to the bench and the Israeli team continued to give the ball to Zalmanson who seemed to have a good shooting day. However, Boris Dallo put the score up to 43-34 in favor France with a very long three-pointer at the half time buzzer.

In the second half, France increased the lead early to double digits with Kevin Harley hitting the three pointer from the corner and Racine continuing to attack the hoop. The gap increased to over twenty points as Israel was unable to get good shots or drives during the third quarter. In the beginning of the last quarter, David Michineau woke up the people in the MWS Halle as he went coast-to-coast for a dunk in traffic. The rest of the game did not give us much more than waiting for the final buzzer.

MVP: Anthony Racine 25pts, 5rebs in 15 minutes

Sweden – New Zealand 74-61

After the traditional Haka that has been ignored by the Swedish players by continuing their layup lines, the beginning of the game was marked by a lot of foul calls against the New Zealand team. Sweden used those to get an early lead from the free-throw line and the all around creativity of Niklas Larsson. But the Kiwis remained in the game driven by Tai Webster and a surprising Mark Kelly who scored his first points of the tournament. Ludde Hakanson brought some scoring to the Swedish team in the beginning of the second quarter to give them a first 10 points lead but Kelly answered with a triple. New Zealand even increased their defensive pressure and reduced the gap to only 1 point with 3 minutes left in the second quarter. The crowd started to cheer in favor of New Zealand and the guys from the Pacific even took the lead at halftime after a stupid Swedish foul on the buzzer.

New Zealand could bring their lead to 6 points in the beginning of the third quarter as they saw some of their shots falling and Sweden still struggling against the Kiwi defense. Hakanson however did not want to let the game slip away and tied the game with a three-point shot in the final seconds of the third quarter while Sebastian Schüszler did the dirty work. Hakanson could even bring the score to 57-51 on the buzzer and bring Sweden in a better position before the last ten minutes. The Barcelona guard took now the control of the game by hitting a couple of more jump shots and Sweden run away to 66-51 with 6 minutes to go. New Zealand was unable to bring the score back to under 10 and Sweden got their first victory of the tournament.

MVP: Ludvig Hakanson 20pts (7/10 FGs), 5rebs, 3asts

Italy – Argentina 95-71

Italy had the better start into the game behind five points from Simone Fontecchio to get an early lead at 9-2. Matteo Imbro run the offense for Italy and distributed some beautiful passes to find his big guys in the paint and the South Europeans managed their lead throughout the first quarter. Fontecchio continued his scoring in the paint and from the free-throw line and Italy finished the first ten minutes 6 points ahead. The second quarter started without any special happening even if Italy managed to increase their lead to 10. But Argentina started to put more physical pressure on defense which helped them to reduce the gap again a bit. The game was marked by a lot of calls from the referees in both directions that slowed down the paced and ended in a free-throw shooting contest at times.

Italy had the better start into the second half and increased their lead to 14 points in the first minutes. Alessandro Procacci made a couple long shots in this phase of the game and Italy looked like taking the game under their control. Argentina continued to play with high intensity but Martin Massone was too much on his own from outside while the inside players had some problems against the size of the Italian bigs. Amedeo Tessitori was imposing his law in the paint on both ends of the floor and Italy went into the last quarter with a 20 points lead. The last ten minutes of the game were just waiting for the game to finish as both teams used their reserves until the end.

MVP: Amedeo Tessitori 18pts (6/8 FGs), 10rebs, 3blks

Germany – Turkey

The beginning of the game was quite balanced as Malik Müller shut down Tayfun Erülkü in the offense while Talat Altunbey was forcing the shots. On the German side, Gavin Schilling was present in the paint to score the first points for his team. Müller though was forcing on offense but Turkey could not use this as they played quite chaotic on offense as well. James Birsen tried to put some structure in the game but it did not really help them in the beginning. Paul Zipser hit the first three-pointer of the contest and gave Germany the lead in this very tight game. The home team started better into the second quarter with the creativity of Dominic Lockhart but the increasing pressure by the Turkish defenders helped them to come back into the game. However Germany brought their athletic guys back and Zipser showed his shot blocking skills twice to help Germany bring the lead to 9 points. Birsen though answered immediately with a nice post move over the Heidelberg kid. Turkey had then a little run driven by Erülkü who passed by his defender to reduce to gap to 4 points. The game was more a fight during the last minutes of the first half and Germany went to the break with a 3 points lead.

The second half started on a higher level with quick points on both sides. Zipser showed that he can play PG right now and found Schilling nicely in the paint while Altunbey scored a dunk and a triple for Turkey. The German team had a little run to go up to 39-31 with Kalidou Diouf doing the dirty job in the paint. The intensity remained very high but it was not a game with a lot of quality moves on the court at that moment. The defense from the home team improved and forced bad shots by the Turkish players. This gave Schilling the possibility to put the score to 48-34 before the last quarter. Turkey had the better start into the last ten minutes which forced the German coach to take a timeout after only two minutes. Altunbey had several baskets in a row that brought Turkey completely back at 48-44 with 6 minutes left on the clock. Zipser had a massive block on the fast break and could score the jump shot on the other side to bring Germany up 6 again. The atmosphere in the gym was electric now as both fan groups supported their teams loudly. The players got more and more nervous as bad choices were multiplied on both sides. Ismet Akpinar scored a very tough layup against the big guys with 1 minute 40 seconds on the clock that gave Germany a 7 points lead. Lockhart put Germany up 8 at the minute mark when the Turks started to play stop-the-clock. Zipser finished the job from the free-throw line and Germany won their third game of the tournament.

MVP: Paul Zipser 19pts (12/14 FTs), 8rebs, 4blks

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