|Danilo Gallinari led the way for Italy with 16 points and 12 rebounds|
Italy thumped Belarus 83-58 on Saturday to finish their EuroBasket Qualification Round campaign unbeaten and looking like a team that's on the rise.
Belarus never went in front against the Azzurri, who were led by Danilo Gallinari's 16 points and 12 rebounds and won for the eighth time.
The Italians were knotted at 11-11 when Angelo Gigli scored with a lay-up and captain Stefano Mancinelli followed with a three-pointer.
That spurt put Simone Pianigiani's team in front to stay.
With 6:00 remaining in the first half, the Italy advantage was 38-23 and they pressed home the advantage the rest of the way.
Pietro Aradori had 12 points and Mancinelli 10 for the Italians.
Belarus dropped to 1-6 with the defeat.
Belarus head coach Andrei Krovonos:
"Congratulation to Italy, a good team that can reach the top in Europe. We didn't play very well and we scored few points. In this way we could not win against Italy tonight."
Belarus player Yahor Meshcharakou:
"Italy played better than us tonight. They are a very solid team and I think they could win a medal in the next EuroBasket in Slovenia."
Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani:
"We strongly wanted to qualify to the EuroBasket and two months ago nobody would have bet on our eight wins in a row. We worked hard to achieve this goal and working hard is the only way to play nowadays in Europe. I want to thank all players and all members of the staff. I am proud of being their head coach."
Italy player Andrea Cinciarini:
"We are very happy for qualifying to EuroBasket 2013 and, at the same time, we are proud of the eight wins in a row. We have been working hard all the summer and it is very important for Italian basketball to enter EuroBasket from the front door."