Quotes Italy vs. Belgium

16 January 2009
Laurence Van Malderen (Belgium coach):
"[It was meant to be a] tough game, we knew it. Italy is a complete team, we were missing a lot of good players and in our roster there is a 15-year-old guard. We are talented but young, we need experience. But I think it was a good game for us, especially in the first half. It was important for us to beat Croatia in Liege, in the first game they gave us more than 20 points. We are growing, next years we will be competitive."

Giampiero Ticchi (Italy coach):
"I am really very happy, we worked hard in the last few months and I believe we deserve this qualification to EuroBasket. I'd like to congratulate all my players because they played three good games but it is important to remember how the Italian Federation worked to help us achieve this qualification. We will go to Latvia with this group [of players]. [Before today] Italy hasn't succeeded in a qualification [to a EuroBasket] in the last 10 years and that's a long time... "

Raffaella Masciadri (Italy player):
"A dream comes true, I've been playing in the National Team for a lot of years and finally we succeeded in a qualification. Last time I didn't play with the team because I was in the WNBA championship but in this Additional Round I found a solid team.  It is a great day for our basketball, in Latvia we want to demonstrate that the Italian National Team deserves to be among the best 16 teams of Europe."


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