Dominican Republic stun Germany to remain unbeaten in the World Cup
SHENZHEN (China) - In a highly physical grind-it-out game, the Dominican Republic survived a heart-stopping 70-68 victory to turn back Germany and improve their record to 2-0 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Group Phase.
Germany's Daniel Barthel had a chance to win the game at the buzzer with a three-point attempt but shot an airball as time expired, the Dominicans stormed the court with a celebration frenzy as they now have one foot into the Second Round.
Victor Luz top-scored for the Dominican Republic with 17 points while Eloy Vargas and Ronald Roberts added 16 and 10 points respectively. Germany was led by Dennis Schroder who tallied a game-high 20 points in a losing effort for Germany.
Turning Point: With the game still in the balance at 62-all at the 4:51 mark, Dominican Republic unleashed a quick 7-1 zip to take a 69-63 lead heading down the stretch. Although Germany countered with a rally, the run was enough cushion for the Dominicans to hold on to the victory.
TCL Player of the Game: Victor Liz produced a stellar all-around effort with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the Dominican Republic to their second win in as many games.
Stats Don't Lie: The Dominicans took a massive 22-10 assists advantage over Germany. In a tightly contested game, fatigue will always become a factor and the Dominican Republic's unselfish play helped them to have the fresher legs in the clutch.
Bottom Line: The Dominican Republic gave themselves a huge chance to advance to the Second Round by winning their first two games, while Germany have lost control of their fate and will have to rely on other games to determine their chance. If Jordan lose their game against France tonight, the latter and the Dominican Republic are automatically through to the next round.
They said: Thank god for this victory. Our coach gave us a lot of confidence. We played good, we played aggressively on defense. We were patient on offense. We played 40 minutes against Germany, they are a big team. They play physically. They move the ball, have good shooters. But we had the patience to get this victory." Dominican Republic guard Victor Liz
"I am really happy about my players. I feel proud about these guys. They fought today. And now we are in the top 16 teams in the World Cup. We played very good defense. Maybe for a lot of people we were a tournament surprise, but we believe in ourselves. Now we enjoy this moment. But this is only one game. This team can do more things in this World Cup." - Dominican Republic head coach 'Nestor Che' Garcia
"Our body language was not how it should have been. We as a team could not find a way to play together and use our strengths as we should have. It was a real disaster. I cannot answer what happened. Nobody expected that this would happen here. We worked together for many summers to present a young and hungry team. But we could not show that in the decisive moments." - Germany point guard Maodo Lo
"They played a very gutsy game. It could have gone either way. It was a huge battle. It was very physical. I think we didn’t have our nerves 100 percent under control. We were shooting the ball really bad. We had open looks. It was open until the end. To win games you have to make shots and we didn’t enough. We needed a three to win this game and we didn’t have it." - Germany head coach Henrik Rodl