|Metecan Birsen sparked Turkey with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds|
by Dan Casey
Turkey held Italy to 8 points in the final quarter to pull away for victory in Hradec Kralove.
A strong defensive effort held Italy to just 19 points in the first half and 30% shooting overall.
Metecan Birsen led the Turkish team with 16 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double, and Cedi Osman added 13 points.
Simone Fontecchio led Italy with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Lorenzo Benvenuti added 15 points.
Turkey started the game on a 11-2 run and Birsen's three-pointer gave Turkey an 18-8 lead after the first period. Italy couldn't gain ground in the second quarter, and the half-time score was 33-19 to Turkey.
The Italian team started making shots at the beginning of the second half, and a 23-5 surge saw Italy take their first lead. But Sertan Sari drained a jump shot at the end of the third quarter to make the score 48-44 to Turkey.
Turkey then shut down the Italian offense for 4:47 in the final period to pull away.
Both teams will advance to the Qualifying Round, starting on Monday.