Turkey Run Away With Bronze Medal Game


Turkey used several scoring spurts in the middle quarters to pull away and eventually crush Lithuania 95-74 and take the bronze medal at the U18 European Championship Men 2009 in Metz, France.

The result went some way towards getting the Turks to forget their defeat against Serbia in the semi-final on Saturday.

"We did very well to regain enough composure to play this game as well as we can and come away from this tournament with a good result," said head coach Mustafa Derin.

Safak Edge (Turkey)
Safak Edge added 20 points off the bench for Turkey

"Getting into the final was our goal, but we fell short. It is the third time this team has come up short of that goal by losing in the semi-final! But there won't be a fourth time," he joked.

Kanter had another monster game with 35 points and 19 rebounds while Safak Edge added 20 off the bench and Can Mutaf chipped in with 16.

Up 49-42 early in the third period, Turkey scored 13 unanswered points for their first 20-point lead, 62-42.

Firak Toz opend the run by burying a three-pointer before Can Mutaf wrapped a pass around a defender to a trailing Enes Kanter for a dunk. Mutaf and Ege then hit from beyond the arc before Kanter capped it all off with a baseline drive.

They took a 69-61 lead into the final frame and were never threatened again as they even extended their advantage to a whopping 23, 83-60, on Edge's lay-up with just over five minutes left to play.

Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points to lead four Lithuanians in double-figures.

In the second quarter, Turkey used three different spurts to take a 44-33 lead at half time

A 6-0 run saw them regain the lead, 28-25 before Giedrius Staniulis and Vytenis Cizauskas scored consecutive baskets to put Lithuania back up by one.

The Turks then ran off seven unanswered points to go up 35-29. Augustas Peciukevicius cut the deficit to four, 37-33, but Kanter made a lay-up, Pertev Onguner hit a three-pointer and Kanter then dunked for the last seven points of the second quarter and the half-time score.

Early on, Kanter and Valanciunas went at one another. Valanciunas put Lithuania up 11-9 but at the other end Kanter tied it up.

Marius Linartas' side took their biggest lead of the game, 19-15, on Mantas Kadzevicius' lay-up before Safak Edge and Kanter scored to tie.

In the last minute of the opening period, Valanciunas tipped in Deividas Nazarovas's missed lay-up for a 21-19 advantage and Kanter made a free-throw to make it a one-point game.

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