Highlights: Alocen, Martinez too much for Germany; the hosts outlast France
TEL AVIV (Israel) - The stage is set for the Final of the FIBA U20 European Championship 2019, with the hosts Israel facing the still-unbeaten Spain. France and Germany will play the Third Place Game.
Spain and Germany were trading blows in the first Semi-Final, until Carlos Alocen decided to make the game his own personal mixtape in the third quarter, exploding for 14 points and 3 steals in that stanza. When you add Sergi Martinez's first half 10-point, 10-rebound double-double, Spain just had too much firepower for Germany in the Shlomo Group Arena, despite missing injured Joel Parra.
It finished 80-62, Alocen and Martinez both had 18 points, with Martinez collecting 13 rebounds. Germany got 11 points out of Jonas Mattisseck and Bruno Vrcic, they were the only two German players in double digits.
Joaquin Prado's boys are back to the Final for the first time since 2016, when their run of ten straight medal-winning performances ended in Helsinki, Finland. They have the toughest of tasks ahead of them, facing 3,500 fans and Israel up next.
Israel outlasted France 81-70, as Deni Avdija powered through for a game-high 26 points, done on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 12-of-14 from the free throw line. The 18-year-old also had 11 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks, and Eidan Alber was the helping hand off the bench with 20 points. Yam Madar scored 13, Raz Adam 12 for coach Ariel Beit-Halahmy.
Ludovic Beyhurst scored a team-high 16 points for France, but they are sent to the battle for third with Germany, last summer's bronze-medalist. France won the third spot in 2017. Israel, meanwhile, will play their third straight Final, after finishing second in 2017 and winning the event last time around.
Elsewhere, Italy shocked Serbia 86-63, meaning Serbia drop to Division B for the first time ever in all youth competitions. Latvia are also out, Poland's 82-68 win lines up only one more question in the bottom half of the standings. Italy and Poland will play each other for safety on Sunday, loser will join Serbia and Latvia in Division B in 2020.