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Group:  A | 30.07.2009, 20:15h
Group:  A | 30.07.2009, 20:15h
70-48
16 - 1316 - 717 - 1621 - 12
16 - 1316 - 717 - 1621 - 12
Venue: Naples (ITA) |
Spectators: 300 |
Referees: Tomislav Kovacic (SLO), Jakub Zamojski (POL), Martynas Gudas (LTU)

GAME REPORT


Italy Start Home Tournament On A High, Beat Sweden

The sun might have been fading outside but Italy raised the temperature another level with a terrific and vibrant display in front of a passionate local crowd as they routed Sweden 70-48.

It was a magnificent start to the tournament for the Azzurrine with Coach Giovanni Luccessi pinpointing preparations for the hot conditions on court as one of the main reasons for his teams ability to play with an impressive level of energy.

"The climate right now is definitely a big problem for every team and especially those I guess from the North of Europe."

"We prepared for this kind of situation by spending 25 days in he South of Italy in a camp near Napoli and this has defiantly been a big factor for us in helping us to keep a lot of energy on the court."

The hosts held the upper hand right from the tip-off with Marta Masoni opening the Italian account by banking an early triple, much to the delight of the excited home fans.

Sweden also had good support and soon it was their fans singing when they tied the game up at 13-13 in the final minute of the first quarter thanks to a triple from Sofie Persson.

However Italy still had time to respond and there was more joy for home supporters when Elettra Ferretti drained a three-point buzzer beater to hand Italy a 16-13 advantage.

That also gave the home nation the impetus and confidence to start the second quarter with a 6-0 run. They quickly established a double digit lead at 26-15 although Dahlin rained a triple from the corner to break the Swedish drought.

Just when Sweden looked like they might finish the half strongly, Alice Mandelli converted a three-pointer inside the last minute for a 32-20 scoreline at half-time.

When Sweden coach Benny Johansson walked off the court to head for the locker rooms the irony of ‘Need Somebody' by the Kings of Leon booming out of the speakers was probably not lost on him.

He certainly needed one of his players to step up with Rebecka Dahlin the top scorer on just five points while tighter perimeter defence was also required.

It didn't arrive and things got a lot worse for the Swedes as Italy stretched their lead to as many as 26 points in the second half, nailing more three-pointers with Mandelli, Panella and Masoni all weighing in with two each.

However far from haping praise on his shooters, Coach Lucchesi preferred instead to focus his players who competed in the paint.

"Before the game we were worried as they have one really big player but I am very happy because I thought that our big players were very consistent and this is a big, big problem for us if this does not happen."

"Every game is definitely a great experience for us as we are learning together and have not played many games in the last year."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

40.0%

24/60
FG
M/A

39.0%

16/41

35.7%

15/42
FG2P
M/A

44.4%

12/27

50.0%

9/18
FG3P
M/A

28.6%

4/14

59.1%

13/22
FT
M/A

60.0%

12/20

35

14/21
RT
RO/RD

31

5/26

7

AS

9

16

TO

25

20

ST

6

2

BS

4

21

PF

18

70

Pts

48

Next Games

Italy

Italy

Sweden

Sweden