It was an all European clash in the first men’s quarter final of the day, top of pool A, Spain faced fourth of place in pool B, Germany.
It was a high scoring close first quarter as Germany took a two point advantage into the second 10 minutes, 21-19. In the second quarter Germany pushed ahead thanks to some huge three point shots from Andre Bienek and Dirk Passiwan, allowing them to take a six point advantage into half time. 34-40.
Germany continued to grow the deficit as the start of the third quarter to a lead of 10points, but Spain did not concede and with gritty determination they pulled the game back to within 5, going into the final ten minutes of the game.
Spain continued to fight back and with five minutes remaining there was nothing to separate the team as Spain’s impressive comeback had them all square 60-60. The momentum was certainly with Spain who took advantage of this to come back and take the game 70-66.
Germany’s Head Coach Nicolai Zeltinger said, “It was a great fight with the Spanish team, we worked so hard and we played great defence. I think we lost a little bit of our focus and concentration at the defensive end which hurt us a little bit in the end. But I don’t blame the players they were fighting so hard and they were so tired at the end that they made a few mistakes which is pretty frustrating.
“We are disappointed right now. It’s ok to have these emotions and we have to let our emotions go and we will talk about things but within the next couple of hours or a day we’ll have to come back and make sure we are ready for the next game.
Spain’s Head Coach Jose Manuel Artacho said “We came into the match and believe we could win the game. We are very happy and personally I’m very proud of all the team. All of the players and staff trust in each other and support each other so we have been able to play at a high level from the beginning of the group and we knew we had the talent to pass through to the semi final if we continued to play to that level. After a hard first part of the game, we kept within six points and we knew we had to increase our defensive pressure outside the key and to get back into the game which we did and I can say nothing more than I’m just every proud of my team.
“The next game is just one more game, we will just keep working until each one. We will celebrate a little bit, every victory should be celebrated but tomorrow is another important game and we’ll work towards it in the same way.”
For full match statistics click here https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-mens-quarterfinal-wb-2