Italy's Easy Win over Finland Takes Them to the European Championships


Karlo Dzeverlija, KK

To place in the championships Italy needed a win over Finland. The 'Azzuri' did more than 'just win'.

Finland managed to land 15 points in the first five minutes with the tense Italians. It was then that coach Gaetano Gebbia called a time-out which proved critical to the game. The new strategy set the stage for a series of 16:3 by the Italians, after which the Fins were unable to gain victory.

That advantage gave Italy the chance to reach a comfortable +8 lead by half time. The trend continued, at one point Finland was 'frozen' by being down -34. After the 40 minute mark, the final buzzer sounded at 84:52 (20:18, 38:29, 66:43).

Since a tired and reserved Marco Belinelli sat out the whole third quarter, the role of Italy's top point getter went to Luca Lechthaler. The Italian captain gave 22 points. Luca Vitali marked 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Belinelli managed 14 (2/9 three pointers, 4/16 total shots).

Finland was led by Jari Vanttaja with 15 baskets and 10 rebounds.


Bronze Medal Game: France 74 Italy 6818.07.2004
Semi-Final: Spain 95 Italy 78 17.07.2004
Quarter-Final Report: Italy 75 Greece 74 (OT)16.07.2004
An Old Head on Young Shoulders - Marco Belinelli05.07.2004
2004 European Championship for U18 Men Field Set06.04.2004
Croatia: Markoishvili and Belinelli - Best Players of the Tournament06.04.2004
Croatia vs Italy: It could not have been More Exciting05.04.2004

Follow Us On Twitter

Like Us On Facebook