Italy Edge Ukraine
Amedeo Della Valle scored 20 points and Amedeo Tessitori had 19 as Italy secured a spot in the Qualifying Round of the U18 European Championship Men with an 85-80 victory over Ukraine in Group D.
Matteo Imbro tallied 12 points and Diego Monaldi added 12 points and five steals for Italy, who finished the group with a 2-1 record.
Volodymyr Gerun paced the Ukrainians with 29 points and 11 rebounds while Klym Artamonov scored 26 points and Danylo Zuikov added 11 points and five assists for Ukraine, who finished 0-3 and will play to stay in Division A.
Ukraine, who could have advanced to the Qualifying Round with victory and a loss later by Russia to Lithuania, led 17-12 in the first quarter. Italy pulled back in front for a 21-20 lead after one period.
The Italians led by as many as six points in the second quarter but went into the locker room ahead only 38-37.
Ukraine had the biggest lead of the third quarter with four points at 47-43 and the lead changed hands eight times with Italy up 60-57 after three quarters.
Italy pushed the cushion to eight points at 67-59 but Ukraine answered with an 8-0 run to even the game. And the Ukrainians even led 78-77 with 1:43 left. But Italy were more efficient down the stretch and Monaldi iced the game with two free throws with 16 seconds to play for the final score.