|06 August 2009|
Italy coach Carlo Recalcati has admitted his team made too many mistakes as they lost a thrilling opening game of the EuroBasket Additional Qualifying Round 80-77 to France after overtime.
Having trailed for much of the game, Italy forced overtime and then built a five-point lead, only to let France come storming back to win it.
Poor shooting from beyond the arc, where Italy made only three-of-22, contributed to their downfall.
"We knew of their athletic potential and we knew there was little room for mistakes," Recalcati said.
"Shooting the three is important for us and we cannot afford to only make three of 22." France were able to build an early double-digit lead before Italy got back into the game in the second half.
Having fixed the problems that made them second best in the early going, Recalcati was disappointed that his team could not hold the lead they built.
"At the beginning of the game, they punished our defensive zone," he said.
"Then we grew and got ourselves in front. We were supposed to be more savvy and make easy shots for ourselves. It would have been enough if we could have continued to defend well, but we didn't."
Italy now have a week to work out what went wrong before facing Finland on Tuesday, and Recalcati wants to see much more from his players, including his star name Marco Belinelli.
"Belinelli can give more and the team can give more," he concluded.