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Group:  A | 05.08.2010, 20:30h
Group:  A | 05.08.2010, 20:30h
69-68
14 - 1419 - 1719 - 1917 - 18
14 - 1419 - 1719 - 1917 - 18
Venue: Riga (LAT) |
Spectators: 3100 |
Referees: Romualdas Brazauskas (LTU), Marek Cmikiewicz (POL), Oliver Krause (GER)

GAME REPORT


Latvia Defeat Leaves Italy On The Brink

Italy's hopes of EuroBasket qualification look to be hanging by a thread already after they lost a second straight game, going down 69-68 to Latvia in a Group A thriller.

It may still be early days, but Italy have left themselves a mountain to climb if they are not to miss a second straight EuroBasket.

Coach Simone Pianigiani had demanded a reaction from his players following their opening 79-71 loss to Israel, but after Andrea Bargnani fouled out with just under two minutes to go, they surrendered a narrow lead and failed to make another field goal.

A tight contest went to the wire, but behind the hot hand of Bargnani - who made eight of 12 attempts from the field en route to 18 points - Italy were well placed when his jump-shot put them 66-65 ahead with 2:15 to go.

But the Toronto Raptors star then fouled Ingus Bankevics, sending him to the bench. Bankevics nailed both free throws to put Latvia back in front.

Janis Strelnieks then made it 69-66 with a jump shot.

Marco Belinelli got to the line with 31 seconds left, but could only make one of the two free throws.

Strelnieks missed a jump-shot for Latvia, and Ronalds Zakis fouled Stefano Mancinelli to send him to the line with eight seconds left and a chance to tie it.

But Mancinelli, making his comeback from suspension, missed the first before closing the gap to one.

Rihards Kuksiks missed two free throws for Latvia at the other end to give Italy one final hope with two seconds left, but after calling a timeout to draw up a play, they failed to get a shot away.

Kuksiks led Latvia with 12 points, while Strelnieks had 11 and Rolands Freimanis 10.

Mancinelli and Belinelli each scored 14 points for Italy.

Italy face Finland next, but with two games still to come against Montenegro and a trip to Israel, it is hard to see a way back now.

 

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Latvia vs. Italy

Ainars Bagatskis, Head Coach Latvia:
We started game very well, we didn't break under big names and pressure. Players from the bench helped well.

Belinelli's shooting percentage was bad, that shows our good defense. Our main task was to prevent him from gaining easy points.

Simone Pianigiani, Head Coach Italy:
We had problems with fouls. I'm not sure if the foul in last seconds was really a foul. Also, our shooting percentage from the field was very poor.

 

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

38.6%

22/57
FG
M/A

47.4%

27/57

47.4%

18/38
FG2P
M/A

59.0%

23/39

21.1%

4/19
FG3P
M/A

22.2%

4/18

67.7%

21/31
FT
M/A

66.7%

10/15

36

14/22
RT
RO/RD

34

7/27

13

AS

11

10

TO

11

6

ST

6

3

BS

7

22

PF

27

69

Pts

68

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