Game Report: Italy - Croatia

03.09.2001

It was a day of upsets in the crossover games in Antalya with favoured teams Greece and Italy both being sent home by Croatia and Germany respectively.

Italy and Croatia were first up in Antalya and a defensive minded game saw Croatia hold off Italy 67-65 to advance to the Quarter-Finals in Istanbul. The game was close throughout, with neither team being able to stamp their authority on the other. The first quarter was low scoring, finishing 15-14 in favour of Croatia.

In the second quarter, Croatia managed to forge a 7-point lead thanks to two 3-pointers from Josip Sesar. However a three-pointer from Basile at the halftime buzzer, cut Croatia's lead to 4 points, 30-26.

The third quarter belonged to Italian point guard Andrea Pecile and Croatian shooting guard Veljko Mrsic, both of whom carried their teams on offence. Both teams fought to a standstill in the third, and going into the fourth, Croatia retained their slim 4-point lead.

Pecile contained his stellar play in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a great block on Damir Mulaomerovic and a coast to coast layup. This play brought Italy to within one point of Crotia at 54-55, but unfortunately for Italy, they would get no closer. With the score at 57-58, Pecile fouled out of the game, leaving Italy without their key performer. Righetti missed two three-pointers for Italy, forcing the Italians to foul the Croatians in order to try to stop the clock. Croatia held their nerves and closed the game from the free-throw line to secure their place in the Quarter-Finals.


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