Tale Of Two Halves For Turkey And Israel


Turkey showed two different halves before breaking Israel on the way to a 72-55 win in the last game of opening day in Group F of the Qualifying Round.

Thanks to the win Turkey climbed to a 3-0 record in the group, as Israel fell to 0-3 at the bottom.

Burak Yuksel focused the most attention in Turkey with 21 points, followed by 18 points by Safak Edge and a 17 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks performance by Enes Kanter.

Bar Reuven led Israel with 13 points and Tomer Bar Aven added eight points and ten rebounds.

"I coached in European Championships many years and I know the Israeli teams very well," shared Head Coach of Turkey, Mustafa Derin.

"They always fight, never give up until the last minute and give you a challenge. This was no exception."

Two totally different halves presented two totally different stories.

In the first Israel played their best half of the tournament while Turkey was lost, down already 16.

The Turks made a 20-0 run early in the second half to take over the game and never look back.

Bar Aven and Guy Lavie were the main force of Israel in the first quarter.

When Niv Solomon joined from the bench to hit the last five points of the quarter Israel held a 21-14 lead.

Solomon added two more and later Ram Elias-Pour combined points to give Israel a shocking 39-23 margin.

A three pointer with the buzzer of Yuksel cut the difference to 13 right before the break and hinted on what is expected next.

"I didn't say or do anything special in the locker room," admitted Derin.

"I just told my players to forget about the first half and simply start playing their game."

And simple it was.

Lavie still kept Israel up by 11 but then came to big run of Turkey.

On the other side Israel had trouble to keep the ball alive as the Turks earned a lot of fast break points.

Bar Reuven was the only lighting point of Israel in the second half, but Kanter on the inside and a deadly combo of Edge and Yuksel from the outside were too much for Israel.

Turkey will take on France in a key match tomorrow while Israel will take on Latvia in a game between two teams in search for a debut win.

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