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Albert Schweitzer Tournament 2012: Day 1 Recap

April 7th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Today started the 26th edition of the Albert- Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim (Germany). After having moved away from the traditional US Sports Arena, the Waldsporthalle in Viernheim was the newcomer among the gyms on the schedule. So I decided to follow the games in this new facility that was nicely filled throughout the day.

Spain – China 88-56

In the opening game of the tournament, China could only stay one quarter with the Spanish armada. Behind the long Zhou Qi and his versatility, China could close the paint but with too much fouls on their side. This gave Spain the possibility to make a first break in the second quarter when Qi had to play with 3 fouls. The foul trouble of the Chinese bigs was very well used by Spain in the second half where Ilimane Diop scored two impressive dunks to bring the lead to 19. Willi Hernangomez showed his low post skill set by coming up with several moves either facing the basket or playing with his back to the basket. China could not do anything anymore and Spain run away for their first victory in the tournament.

MVP: Guillermo Hernangomez 15pts, 12rebs, +30 diff

Serbia – Denmark 75-46

The second game of the day between Serbia and Denmark was already decided after the first quarter as the Serbs run away quickly. Rasmus Larsen and Peter Moeller, the usual scorers for Denmark had some problems to get good shots against the Serbian defense and the team from the Balkan scored multiple easy baskets in the fast break. Supported by about 100 loud fans, Serbia forced the inside game where they had a clear advantage over Denmark and had already a 17 point lead at half. Moeller and Larsen only saw limited minutes in the second half and both teams gave minutes to their reserves in order to prepare the week long tournament.

MVP: Nikola Milutinov 12pts, 6rebs, 6fdr

Australia – Russia 57-59

The first quarter was marked by a lot of problems of both team to score the basketball. Australia displayed their typical high speed energy game while the Russians played a lot of Pick and Roll situations to find their shooters. In the beginning of the second quarter, Russia took a double-digit lead as they started to force the inside game with Stanislav Ilnitskiy and Igor Kanygin who managed to score several jump hooks to bring the score to 22-11 in their favor. A massive dunk by Kanygin had though the effect that the Aussies woke up and came back into the game driven by their PG Emmett Naar. Australia even took the lead after yet another left handed drive by Naar who finished it close to the rim with a layup. But it was Ilnitskiy who hit the three pointer on the half time buzzer to give the Russians a two point lead after 20 minutes.

Russia had the better start into the second half as they scored several quick baskets on the fast break. Mikhail Kulagin was one of the main drivers for the Russians and gave them back the double-digit lead. However, Australians were not Australians if they did not fight back into the game. Greg Page reduced the gap to 6 points with his first three-pointer of the game and Russia started to struggle in their decision making on offense. Kulagin gave Russia again an 8 point lead on another triple but Naar scored with the foul to keep the game close. Kulagin run into the Aussie defense wall which lead to a fast break score by the Emus and a four point game. Australia scored two more free-throws as Russia could not get a basket on their side and we had a 1 position game with 1 minute on the clock. Kulagin missed his first attempt on a mid-range jump shot but Kanygin saved the possession giving Kulagin the chance to score two points on the drive. Russia forced the turnover out of the timeout but could not inbound the ball either and gave the ball back to the Emus. The first three-point attempted was missed but Rowley could make the long distance shot from the corner with 3 seconds in the game. Russia was up 1 point 58-57 and took the timeout. However, Australia had to commit two fouls to reach the five team fouls and bring Kulagin to the line who made the first one and missed the second on purpose to give Russia the first victory in the tournament.

MVP: Mikhail Kulagin 22pts (4/7 3FGs), 7rebs, 4stls, 9fdr

USA – Greece 76-63

Greece had the better start into the game behind the shooting of Alexandros Mitsialos and the presence of Dimitrios Agravanis in the paint. The Blues pushed the ball like crazy and scored multiple quick baskets on early offenses or in the fast break. The US team did not really know what was happening to them in the beginning and got lost in one-on-one situations. Both teams slowed down the pace a bit in the end of the first quarter but there was already a ten point lead for the Greek team and the US had already major foul trouble. The second quarter started very slow as neither team could really impose its style to the game. The difference remained around ten points until the middle of the second quarter when the United States switched to a zone defense. Seven points in a row brought them back to –4 as they looked more secure now in this unusual setting for them. Austin Nichols was their leader inside the paint at that moment with several nice baskets from close. The game was really intense with both teams fighting on court and the halftime score of 35-31 in favor of Greece underlined this.

It only lasted 75 seconds in the second half until Team USA got the lead on an and one dunk by Nichols. The Greek did not really know what was happening as Nichols scored on the jump hook and Stevie Clark had another and one play on the break to put the score up to 41-35 in favor of the United States. Agravanis recorded his fourth foul and put the Greeks now in a tough situation concerning their inside presence. Clark hit another three pointer and the Greek coaching staff had to call a timeout with 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter. USA managed the lead until late in the third quarter where Greece could reduce the gap to 7 points. However a buzzer beater by Darryl Hicks brought the score to 55-46 before the last ten minutes. Hicks was on fire now and hit two three-pointers in a row to bring back the double-digit lead to team USA. Clark scored another basket on the break and Greece had to take a time out as they were down 17 with 6 minutes to go. The PG continued his show from outside and the Greeks did not manage to reduce the gap in the final minutes.

MVP: Darryl Hicks 18pts, 4rebs, 4stls

Video Review of Day 1

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zarko // Apr 9, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Why wasn’t there a preview of Serbian team?
    Thanks for all the content.

  • 2 Christophe // Apr 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I was unable to find a writer in time

  • 3 Zarko // Apr 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Aha, too bad, was eager to read it 😉

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