Turkey Cement Status As Title Favourites

14 July 2006

There was a lot of talk before the Ostchem European Championsip U20 Men tipped off that home side Turkey would be the team to beat.

The Turkish justified that statement with a dominant performance against Germany in their opening game on Friday.

Cheered on by a crowd of over 2,000 supporters, Turkey dispatched Germany with emphatic ease, 83-45.

The stars of the team are guard Cenk Akyol and forward Ersan Ilyasova, and both gave the crowd exactly what they wanted in a furious opening 10 minutes.

Akyol connected on 3 of his first 4 shots to score 10 points in the quarter, and Ilyasova closed the period with a thunderous dunk to give Turkey a 25-10 lead.

Germany struggled all game long against Turkey's long-armed defenders and committed 22 turnovers while shooting 30% from the field (19/67).

After the opening period, the game was effectively over as a contest and it just remained for Turkey to entertain the fans. The home players carried out that mission to great effect, connecting on 12 dunks (including spectacular efforts from Akyol and Illyasova) and 9 three-pointers to keep the fans rooted to their seats, despite their team's large lead.

Ilyasova finished with a game high 22 points in 19 minutes on court, while it took Akyol 22 minutes to rack up his 20 points.

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