Turkey Stay Perfect

02 August 2008

Turkey remains unbeatable after the second day of the competition after a 75-65 triumph over Israel.

This is Israel's second loss, while Turkey jumps to a perfect 2-0 record.

Azizcan Ozdemir led Turkey with 21 points and eight boards and Baris Hersek added 13 with nine rebounds.

Sean Mcdonough Daniel (Israel)
Sean Mcdonough Daniel had 12 points for Israel in the loss.
Israel got 22 points and eight rebounds from Anton Shoutvin while Sean Daniel scored 12 and Gal Mekel had 11.

"They are a better team than us," admitted coach Ariel Beit Halachmi. "We tried several things to cover for that, and had some success but every time we came close they found the way to stay on top.

Turkey wasted no time and jumped on the Israeli squad right from the tip off on the way to an early 9-2 lead.

Israel woke up before the first quarter buzzer to stay just six points behind 23-17 in a quarter two players shined - Ozdemir who scored 11 for Turkey and Daniel with eight for Israel.

The Israeli squad suffered from a bad shooting day making only nine field goals in the first half out of 31 attempts, which allowed Orhun Ene's gang to take a ten point gap at half time, 39-29.

"Israel is missing Omri Casspi and that change their team," the winning Coach Orhun Ene said after the game.

"It's very difficult to play against them, but we found the way to win. I think we played better than yesterday but we still need to improve and get more players involved."

Turkey started the second half with a three point play by Hersek, and seemed on the verge of making the break, but Israel struck back with aggressive defense and made it just a five point game, 42-37.

Whenever it seemed the Israeli squad is about to take over Turkey found the way to stay on top, forcing turnovers and connecting on big shots.

The gap came down to three already, but Ozdemir and Gen pushed Turkey back to a ten point lead, 68-58, with less than four minutes to play.

Shoutvin again and again tried to keep the dream alive for Israel, but a big offensive rebound by Turkey finished with a dunk by Ozdemir and the game was sealed.

Turkey will face Italy tomorrow in hope to secure the top spot in the group, while Israel will look for their first win against Georgia.

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