|Daniel Hackett was Italy's second best scorer with 10 points as 11 players registered points on the scoresheet|
Italy made it five wins from five games in Group F of the EuroBasket Qualifying Round after an 82-70 success in Portugal to move to the verge of booking their spot in Slovenia next year.
It was a powerful start which gave the Italians the platform to take the win after they jumped out to a commanding 22-9 lead after the first stanza.
And, when they subsequently outscored the home team 16-10 ahead of half-time, the result looked a foregone conclusion but Portugal did wag its' tail in the final quarter to briefly give the Italians something to think about.
Down 59-42, Portugal scored the first ten points of the fourth quarter but the notion of a fairytale fight-back and first win of the summer was crushed by Marco Cusin who threw one down to get the scoreboard ticking over again for his team.
With the three-point threat of Jaime Silva and the ever present danger posed by Joao Gomes, Italy couldn't relax and they made sure they slammed the comeback door firmly shut down the stretch in a real team performance.
Portugal player Mário Fernandes:
"Once again we started playing badly, though the goal was to win. In the beginning we were chasing the result. The second half was completely different. We changed our attitude and scoring 51 points in 20 minutes against Italy is really good. In the end we couldn´t approach more than eight points but I think we changed the image of the first game in Italy. This result is like a victory and it´s for all Portuguese."
Portugal head coach Mário Palma:
"Taking the first game with Italy out, we played the rest of the games at the same level. The Portuguese players have abilities and can compete in European competitions. In the first half we weren´t circulating the ball and we talked about it at half-time. In the second half we won both quarters but we still cannot play focused for all 40 minutes and that is when the other teams get their advantage. They have a great coach and a great player (Gallinari) who decided the game in the end."
Italy player Angelo Gigli:
"We started focused but it only lasted for 20 minutes. We have to play better and as a team for 40 minutes."
Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani:
"We played well in the beginning without thinking about the first game. We need more experience when the momentum changes. Portugal started playing harder and we reacted nervously. We lost the rhythm of the game and we let Portugal play their game. They can play face to face against all teams. We won because we made the last and decisive shots of the game. It was a good lesson."