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Group:  A | 26.08.2010, 20:30h
Group:  A | 26.08.2010, 20:30h
72-71
12 - 1720 - 1728 - 2212 - 15
12 - 1720 - 1728 - 2212 - 15
Venue: Bari (ITA) |
Spectators: 5000 |
Referees: Miguel Perez Perez (ESP), Damir Javor (SLO), Nicolas Maestre (FRA)

GAME REPORT


Italy Finish Campaign Strong, Beat Montenegro

10. Tuukka Kotti (Finland), 7. Andrea Bargnani (Italy)
Andrea Bargnani looked unstoppable as he poured in 34 points, draining 4 of 5 three pointers

Andrea Bargnani poured in 34 points as Italy rounded off their EuroBasket Qualifying Round campaign with an exciting 72-71 win over Montenegro in Bari but it smacked of too little too late for the stuttering Azzurri.

While the result meant a fourth successive victory, it just took Italy too long to get going in Group A although this was nevertheless an impressive win.

In an interesting first quarter the home team opened up with seven straight points only for Montenegro to respond with nine in a row themselves and it was the visitors who prevailed 17-12 after the first ten minutes.

Still trailing 24-17 halfway through the second quarter, Italy really got their game together and a three by Belinelli completed an 11-3 run as they took the lead at 28-27.

However by half-time the pendulum had swung back the way of Montenegro as Goran Jeretin converted from outside to help them into a 34-32 lead heading into the locker rooms.

When the action resumed it was the turn of Italy to impress again and it looked like they were set to dominate after working their way into a commanding 59-44 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the penultimate quarter.

Just when it was most needed, the visitors began to launch a comeback and they scored twelve of the last thirteen points to change the momentum once again.

That set up a terrific last ten minutes of action and after a score by Nikola Pekovic the scores were level at 67-67.

A dunk by Tomas Ress made it 72-67 with two minutes to go and while Italy would not score again, Montenegro could only muster four free throws which meant they fell short.

Antonio Maestranzi supported Bargnani with 18 points for the home team.

Omar Cook had a productive night for Montenegro with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Italy vs. Montenegro

Montenegro Head Coach Dusko Vujosevic:
"It was very important to win or to keep the advantages of the home game, because we are aware that the second team of the this group could be qualified.
"Italy is a young team that improved a lot in one month. Simone Pianigiani did a very good job.
We were not able to win but I am satisfied of what we have been doing during this month."

Italy Player Antonio Maestranzi:
"Our group has been working hard to win this evening. We lost our first two games and only working together we were able to improve."

Italy Head Coach Simone Pianigiani:

"It was a great game, great level, with a lot of tactics. I am proud of my players for the way they played tactically.
"Belinelli was not very well, he has the flu. Anyway I think we deserved this game. We won four games in a row and I want to thank all the staff, the players, they worked hard, but also Dino Meneghin, president of our Federation, Giovanni Petrucci president of the Italian Olympic Committee. They all helped us in all possible way.
"We finish with great enthusiasm, it will be useful in the Additional Qualfying Round next year.

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

40.0%

26/65
FG
M/A

45.1%

23/51

42.5%

17/40
FG2P
M/A

51.6%

16/31

36.0%

9/25
FG3P
M/A

35.0%

7/20

68.8%

11/16
FT
M/A

72.0%

18/25

33

11/22
RT
RO/RD

36

9/27

9

AS

10

8

TO

15

2

ST

3

3

BS

4

27

PF

22

72

Pts

71

Next Games

Italy

Italy

Montenegro

Montenegro