Turkey Sneak Past Croatia


Turkey avoided a potential upset when they held off a second half charge by Croatia to win 72-65.

The 2005 champions of this competition took the lead from the start and looked headed for an easy win when they led 42-28 at the break.

But, as has become almost a habit, Croatia fought back in the second half and used a 16-4 run in the third quarter to come within two, 46-44 on a lay up by Dino Jakolis with under three minutes left in the period.

And Vladimir Vanjak’s men stayed close early in the final frame as Dragan Sekelja’s jump shot made it 58-55.

But Can M Mutaf made a lay up with under 1:20 left to give Turkey a bit more breathing space and Mustafa Derin’s men were able to hit their free-throws down the stretch.

Mutaf had 20 points and Burak Yacan Yuksel added 14.

Jakolis finished with a team-high 15 points for Croatia who got sub-par performances from their star players Toni Prostan and Ivan Batur. The pair combined for just 21 points on eight for 31 shooting from the field.

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