Georgia Get Big Win

02.08.2008

Georgia gained a huge first win in the tournament with a 70-63 win over Italy in Group B.

The team of coach David Ustiashvili executed their plans to upset the favorites from Italy, in a game that was under their control for 40 minutes.

Giorgi Shermadini finished as the top scorer with 23 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Beka Tsivtsivadze added 18 including three perfect hits from long range.

Giorgi Gaprindashvili with 13 and six assists together with Levan Shengelia with a double-double of ten points and rebounds supported the first duo.

Lorenzo D'Ercole led Italy with 20 points and Pietro Aradori added 14.

"For us it's a great thing to beat a team like Italy that has one of the best basketball traditions in European basketball," said Coach Ustiashvili after the buzzer.

"We played well and led almost the entire game. I hope we will beat Israel tomorrow as well and advance to the next round with a win. It will be a very important game for us."

Already in the first quarter Georgia showed their presence by taking a 22-19 lead after ten minutes.

Shermadini found his groove to collect 12 points by half time, but Georgia still needed a three-pointer in the last minute of the half to keep a 38-37 lead after 20 minutes.

Tsivtsivadze and Shermadini combined points to give their team a 45-37 lead midway through the third, and only a three point play by D'Ercole in the last seconds of the third made it a six point game, 58-52 with ten minutes on the clock.

Italy made one last push to try and stop the unpleasant loss, but didn't get closer than two points behind.

The Georgians remained cool and hit six out of eight free throws in the closing minutes to secure the win and start their celebrations.

Georgia will take on winless Israel tomorrow, while Italy will play Turkey.


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