Italy won their third game in a row when they beat Bulgaria 76-56 in the Qualifying Round at the U18 European Championship Men 2009, in Hagondange, France.
The win saw Italy improve to a 3-2 mark in Group F and they became the only team so far to win all games in this round.
The Azzurri pulled away late in the third quarter to shake off a brave Bulgarian side who, despite their best efforts, finished with an 0-5 record.
Bulgaria only trailed by three, 38-35, at the half despite shooting eight for 33 from the field.
While they could not find their range from the field, they were very accurate from the free-throw line.
Italy was called for 14 fouls over the first two quarters alone and their opponents made the most of it, hitting 15 of their 16 foul shots. Planimir Dafinov was a perfect eight for eight while Konstantin Koev was five for six.
But Bulgaria didn't spend nearly as much time at the charity stripe in the second half as the Italians amended their defensive ways and started heating up on offense.
Bulgaria tied the game at 38 all on Planimir Dafinov's three-pointer early in the third quarter, but were outscored 22-12 for the remainder of that period.
Riccardo Moraschini was hitting from two-point territory while Andrea De Nicolao and Michele Vitali connected from long range to take a 60-48 advantage heading into the final frame.
And, when their shots eventually started to fall short, Italy turned on the defensive intensity to hold Bulgaria to just eight fourth quarter points.
Moraschini had a game-high 19 points, while Vitali chipped in with 12 and six boards.
Emil Binev had a team-high 15 points for Bulgaria.