Italy Bounce Back

03 August 2008

Italy made a big step towards the Qualifying Round with a big 66-63 win over Turkey in Group B.

After a bad loss to Georgia last night Italy showed they have what it takes to compete and once again won by a small margin that might be enough to make the difference.

Italy finished the Preliminary Round with a 2-1 record and could finish first if Israel will beat Georgia. Turkey will hope for a Georgian win in order to finish on top with the same 2-1 group.

Azizcan Ozdemir led Turkey again with 21 points in great accuracy, Baris Hersek scored 15 with a team high of eight rebounds while Can Ozcan added 12.

Shooting guard Pietro Aradori shinned for Italy with a star performance of 22 points and a surprising 13 rebounds and Daniele Bonessio added 11.

Hersek kicked off a great day with ten points in the first quarter, half of his team's total, as Turkey took a 20-15 lead after one quarter

Aradori stepped up for Italy in the second quarter, but Ozdemir answered in time to send the teams to the break tied at 34-34.

Italy climbed to another five point lead, but once again Ozdemir was there to show presence in the paint, and bring Turkey on top, 54-48 with nine minutes to play.

Hersek, with a dunk, set the score on 61-57 with a little over three minutes on the game clock but from that point on Turkey added just two more points.

Aradori scored four a in a row to tie it, and Roberto Rullo hit Italy's last four points from the line to seal the deal.

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