Italy 80 Bosnia and Herzegovina 72


NBA legend Larry Bird says hi to the fans in Lulea
Italy left it desperately but they finally put together a good performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina, securing an 80-72 victory and keeping their Eurobasket hopes alive.

The game was a close affair and it was only at the buzzer of the third quarter that Italy could build a small lead, 66-51, after a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Alessandro De Pol.

Bosnia switched to a 2-3 zone in the fourth quarter which proved immediately effective. The Bosnians fought their way back into the game and even took a 68-67 lead with just under 4 minutes left to play.

Michele Mian answered for Italy with a 3-pointer and at the other end Jasmin Hukic was fouled while shooting. Hukic missed all 3 free-throw attempts and suddenly the momentum was all Italy's.

Massimo Bulleri then simply took over the game, scoring 9 consecutive points for Italy in just over a minute, and ending Bosnia's hopes.

Guards Damir Mrsic and Terrel Ray Castle both top scored for Bosnia with 12 points apiece. Bulleri finished with 24, after his 11-point outburst in the 4th quarter.

Although Bosnia lost all 3 of their games in the group, they can be proud of the fact that they put together 3 good performances and were unlucky not to come away with at least 1 win.

They also got great crowd support from a group of 300 fans who had travelled to watch their team. None of them seemed discouraged by the lack of a victory and they remained in high spirits throughout their 3 days in Italy.

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