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Group:  C | 03.09.2008, 21:00h
Group:  C | 03.09.2008, 21:00h
86-73
24 - 2427 - 1320 - 1715 - 19
24 - 2427 - 1320 - 1715 - 19
Venue: Istanbul (TUR) |
Spectators: 6000 |
Referees: Moise Bitton (ISR), Dimitar Gologanov (BUL), Milan Mazic (SRB)

GAME REPORT


Turkey Cruise To Opening Victory

Turkey eased to an 86-73 win over Ukraine as they got their EuroBasket qualifying campaign off to a strong start on Wednesday night in Istanbul.

Competing in their opening game of what has been dubbed the 'Group of Death' alongside France and Belgium, Turkey used one decisive run late in the second quarter to take command and they held Ukraine at bay the rest of the way.

Turkey had raced out to a 9-2 lead, but Ukraine had no intention of making it easy that early on and they came back to take the lead when Andriy Agafonov tipped in Oleksandr Kolchenko's miss late in the first quarter, only for Orlando Magic star Hedo Turkolgu to tie it 24-24 five seconds later

Kerem Tunçeri (Turkey)
Kerem Tunçeri had 13 points for Turkey
Ukraine continued to hang tough with their hosts early in the second quarter, but a 13-3 run put Turkey in control and they led 51-37 at half-time.

The hosts were now in cruise control, but they did get something of a wake up call in the final minutes as back-to-back three-pointers from Artur Drozdov and Sergiy Gladyr cut their lead to single figures at 80-71.

Turkoglu then split a pair of free throws and once Drozdov was guilty of a momentum-killing turnover, the crisis was averted for Turkey and the game was won.

Turkoglu was the beating heart of the Turkey team, and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Kerem Gonlum and Oguz Savas also managed 15 points while Kerem Tunceri had 13 points and Ersan Ilyasova collected 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Agafonov and Artem Butskyy each had 15 points for Ukraine, while Serhiy Lishchuk added 13.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Turkey vs. Ukraine

Valentyn Melnychuk, Ukraine coach:

"Tonight we played a difficult game against a very good team. Although we tried to do our best for duration of the game, we couldn't handle the Turkish team. After we matched them in the first quarter, they played well at both the defensive and the offensive ends to maintain the lead. The main reason of our loss was our team's lack of experience. The turkish team has many players in their squad which have Euroleague and Europaean cups experience. They also have one veteran NBA player. All of these factors affected the result of tonight's game. We are also missing some important and experienced players because of the lock-out in Ukraine. If they were in our squad maybe things would be different for us. At the end of the day, Turkey took a deserved victory against us at home. Now we will try to win our next games and also hope to play better against Turkey when they will come to our home."

Bogdan Tanjevic, Turkey coach:

"It is important for us to start the qualifying round with a win. I am pleased for the victory. For the most part of the game our players played well. At times we had problems in defense but we were good at the offensive end. Also Ukraine was better than I expected it to be. They shot 53 percent for three-points. İt is a big percentage. We also did not have any problems about offense. For our second game against Belgium we plan to play better in defense."

Kerem Gönlüm, Turkey player:

"It was important for us to start with victory. In the game, sometimes we played well and sometimes we played not as good as we wanted. We will be better against Belgium."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

49.2%

29/59
FG
M/A

51.9%

28/54

51.2%

21/41
FG2P
M/A

51.3%

20/39

44.4%

8/18
FG3P
M/A

53.3%

8/15

66.7%

20/30
FT
M/A

60.0%

9/15

36

11/25
RT
RO/RD

31

4/27

18

AS

11

9

TO

17

13

ST

4

2

BS

3

18

PF

22

86

Pts

73

PHOTO GALLERY

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