Defense Is Key For Italy

01 August 2013


Francesca Pan (Italy) at the U17 World Championship Women 2012
Francesca Pan was Italy's top scorer with 18 points

Italy got their Group C campaign underway with a dominant 58-37 win over Belgium in the U16 European Championship Women.

Belgium were eager for revenge against their Italian foes, who triumphed in the 2012 semi-final between the two nations, and the Belgian team jumped out to an early 10-5 lead.

But from that point it was one-way traffic as Italy went on a 22-0 run to surge away. They pressured the Belgian backcourt into multiple turnovers and took full advantage to establish a commanding lead.

Belgium were able to slow their opponents down in the second half as Italy only added 20 further points, but the damage had been done and they couldn't make a run to reduce the deficit.

Francesca Pan led the Italian team with 18 points, seven rebounds and five steals while Mariella Santucci added six steals too along with nine rebounds.

Marie Cole and Serena-Lynn Geldof top-scored for Belgium with 10 points apiece.


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