|Stefano Bossi had the hot hand from outside, finishing with a game-high 15 points|
Italy produced an outstanding defensive display on Tuesday to register a 61-52 win over Poland and remain in the hunt for a quarter-final berth at the U20 European Championship on Crete.
Turning Point: Italy overcame a slow start to lead 30-23 at the half-time break but it was not until the third quarter that they made the decisive step to close out the contest. Francesco Candussi drilled a triple with 6:52 remaining in the period to trigger a 23-6 Italian burst which Leonardo Marini capped off with two shots from the charity stripe 28 seconds from the third buzzer. Italy had gone up 57-32 and although they were outscored 17-4 in the final frame, the Polish reaction came too late to change the course of the clash.
Game Hero: Stefano Bossi came off the bench and delivered his most brilliant display in the tournament so far. The Italian playmaker hit three of his five three-point attempts and finished with a game-high 15 points, also dishing out two assists and stealing two balls.
Stats Don't Lie: Poland could just not get any joy from long distance on Tuesday, as they missed their first ten three-point shots and finished with 1-for-13 from downtown. The biggest success of the Italian zone-press however was that it forced 23 Polish turnovers that were invariably punished severly on the other end, as 30 of Italy's 61 points came off of them.
The Bottom Line: Poland have dropped to 0-4 in Second Round Group F and are out of the race to clinch a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition. Italy have improved to 1-3 and face a do-or-die clash with Israel on Wednesday.