Turkey Take Gold In Riga

28.07.2013

U18 MEN

11. Kartal Özmizrak (Turkey)
Turkey's calm collected nature throughout this tournament carried them to a deserved gold on Sunday night

Turning Point: Tournament MVP Kenan Sipahi spent much of the first half setting up his teammates. He went into attack mode midway through the third and delivered Turkey a three-basket lead heading into the final quarter.

Game Hero: Sipahi provided a standout individual performance on Turkey's big night, but the win would not have been possible without the bench's big 39-point scoring night.

Stats Don't Lie: Croatia's 22 team turnovers would not have been as damaging had Turkey not committed eight less.

Turkey celebrated a Gold Medal win at the U18 European Championship in Latvia on Sunday with a 81-74 win over Croatia in the tournament finale.

Croatia dominated the rebound count in first term to jump out to a 22-16 lead after the first quarter courtesy of 14 points from Paolo Marinelli and Marko Arapovic, however Kenan Sipahi made sure Turkey wouldn't be left behind, scoring on a tough drive and setting up three other baskets in the period.

Turkey's bench delivered in the second quarter, scoring 18 points and fighting off some late heroics by Marinelli to carry the team to a one-point lead at halftime.

Lovro Mazalin and Sipahi traded athletic coast-to-coast lay-ups to begin the third term before the Turkish point guard provided an MVP performance with 11 quarter points and back-to-back threes.

Sporting a six-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes, Turkey bumped their advantage up to 11 midway through the term, but had to endure a couple of nervous moments towards the end.

Sipahi fouled out, sending Josip Gulam to the line to cut the lead to just six with three minutes remaining. Tomislav Gabric then cut the deficit down to four on a three with 22 seconds left on the clock before Okben Ulubay and Kerem Kanter finished the game from the free throw line.

Siphai's 19 points and six assists topped Turkey. Ulubay added 12 points and Metecan Birsen scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Croatia were led by 15 points and eight rebounds from Mazalin.


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