Italian coach Carlo Recalcati and his team are holding their heads high despite coming up short in reaching their goal.
Yesterday’s 74-66 loss to Croatia in the Elimination Round knocked Italy out of the tournament. As a result, the Italians failed to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2001 and will not come close to duplicating their bronze medal performance in EuroBasket 2003 or silver medal finish at last year’s Olympics.
Croatia dominated the paint and played stingy fourth quarter defense to beat Italy 74-66 in Podgorica and earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
Italy couldn’t buy a basket in the fourth quarter and Croatia’s decisive edge in rebounding and points in the paint contributed to their third win of EuroBasket 2005.
Croatia's young and talented team takes on an experienced Italy this evening in Podgorica for the right to advance to the quarter-finals.
Croatia and Italy, two squads with stark differences in style and team make-up will tip-off at 18:00 local time at the Moraca Sports Center.
Four Italians scored in double figures as Italy beat Ukraine 99-62 on Sunday at the 2005 EuroBasket to keep alive their chances of repeating their bronze medal from 2003.
Dante Calabria led all scorers with 20 points, while Alex Righetti had 19, Massimo Bulleri added 14 and Denis Marconato chipped in 12. Italy collected their second win in Group A, but thanks to Germany's win over Russia, finished in third place in the group and will have to travel to Podgorica to play an elimination game against Croatia.
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