Italy Storm Into Quarter-Finals

17 July 2013

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13. Awudu Abass (Italy)
Awudu Abass throws down a dunk, two of his 18 points in Italy's win

Italy imposed a frenetic pace on their encounter with Russia on Wednesday to win 88-70, clinch second place in Group F and a quarter-final berth at the Sportland U20 European Championship.

Russia can still qualify to the quarter-finals despite the loss, if Slovenia lose to Spain later on Wednesday or win by a margin of less than 16 points.

Not for the first time in this tournament, the Azzurri turned their size handicap into an advantage and made the most of their mobility and speed.

They employed zone defence to limit Russia's play inside and whenever they had the ball they pushed forward to score in transition or on very fast possessions of only a few seconds.

Italy took their first double-digit advantage already midway through the opening quarter and reached the half-time interval leading 45-35 in comfort.

Their three-point shooting percentage dropped in the third quarter but their two mobile big men continued to execute the game plan to perfection: Rather than posting up, they stretched the floor and then either took the long-range shot option or took the lane and drove to the rim.

As a consequence, forward/center Aristide Landi led all scorers with 26 points and added six rebounds while converted power forward Awudu Abass also made a fantastic contribution of 18 points to Italy's cause.

Aleksandar Gudumak scored 17 points in a losing effort for Russia, also adding six rebounds.

 


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