Italy Roll Over Croatia

05.08.2008

Two days ago Italy was four points shy from playing the 13-16 classification games, but after tonight's crushing 88-52 win over Croatia, their spot in the semis is closer than ever.

Italy stayed perfect in Group E taking a 3-0 record, as Croatia is now down to 0-3.

The Italians dominated the game from tip off but only in the closing minutes it turned into a big blow out.

Croatia were down by 13 after three quarters but scored only four points in the last one, against 27 by Italy, which made it look worse than it really was.

Lorenzo D'Ercole led Italy with 19 points and Pietro Aradori added 13 for the Italian side.

Zeljko Sakic was the only player who scored in double-digits for Croatia reaching 11.

Right from the tip off Italy made it clear who's on top of this game by taking a 15-2 lead. Croatia stayed on no more than three points after eight minutes, but with a blitz finished the period just seven points behind, 19-12.

Two hits from long range by D'Ercole and Costantino Cutolo made it 13 point difference again, but Marino Sarlija and Franjo Bubalo made another late quarter blitz to start the half time break behind 37-33.

D'Ercole and Aradori had the hot hand for Italy after the rest to take another double-digit lead and enter the last quarter up by 13, 61-48.

Another duo hits from long range turned the score to a blow out, giving Italy a 25 point lead with five minutes to play, surely enough to decide the game.

Italy will play against Ukraine tomorrow hoping to maintain their momentum while Croatia will face Israel in a game that will leave only one team winless.


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