Italy earned their second win of the Quarter-Final Round at the Under-18 European Championship with an 83-81 victory against France.
The Italians held a substantial lead going into the final quarter and although France gave them a scare, they just managed to stay in front to virtually guarantee their place in the semi-finals following an 82-70 defeat of Latvia on Tuesday.
France led 27-22 at the end of the first quarter but Alessandro Piazza claimed five points as Italy embarked on a 10-point scoring streak to take command and establish a 47-42 lead at the half.
France actually stole the lead briefly in the third quarter but two three-pointer jump shots from Luigi Datome helped give the Italians a lead of 65-55 going into the final period.
They managed to fend off a spirited fightback from the French, who won the quarter 26-18, but were grateful for Davide Bruttini making both his free throws in the closing seconds to ensure they stayed beyond reach.
That gave Bruttini 19 points for the game but Datome was again the top scorer for Italy with 30 points.
Adrien Moerman scored 26 points for France while team-mate Gary Florimont grabbed 12 points and 10 rebounds.