Turkey Inflict First Loss On Croatia
Kenan Sipahi scored 16 points as Turkey handed Croatia their first loss of the U18 European Championship Men with a 72-66 victory in the Qualifying Round Group E.
Five other players scored at least seven points for Turkey, who improved to 2-2 in the group.
Croatia dropped to 3-1 in the group despite 17 points and eight assists from Marko Ramljak, 16 points from Stipe Krstanovic and 12 points from Ante Smolic.
Turkey grabbed a 12-4 lead, which grew to 16-6 and was still 19-9 before Croatia scored nine straight points to trail just 19-18 after one quarter.
Turkey went on an 11-3 run in the second period to push the margin back to 10 points - 35-25. The Turkish advantage grew to 39-28 before Turkey went into the break ahead 39-32.
Kenan Sipahi, Ahmet Tuncer and Samet Geyik all nailed three-balls in a 9-2 start for Turkey to the third quarter and the Turks went on a 14-5 run to build a 64-47 lead, which was 64-49 after three frames.
Turkey pushed the lead to 18 points, 70-52 with more than seven minutes left. Croatia would not go down without a fight, going on a 14-0 run to pull within 70-66 with 1:30 remaining.
But theyt failed to convert down the stretch and Ugur Dokuyan made two free throws with 36 seconds left to ice the game.