|Lovro Mazalin obviously had a chip on his shoulder heading into Croatia's clash with Turkey and erupted for a tournament best 44 points |
Lovro Mazalin exploded for 44 points as Croatia bounced back from their quarter-final heartache to see off Turkey and give Croatia a shot at fifth place at the U16 European Championship Men.
Fifth place qualifies to the U17 World Championship 2014 in Dubai, which will take place with 16 teams participating.
After their unbeaten run in this tournament came to an end in a 61-59 loss to Spain, Croatia bounced back behind an outstanding display from Mazalin, who made 12-of-22 (54.5) from the field and 18-of-24 (75%) from the free throw line as Turkey could not find a way to stop him.
Turkey, beaten by Italy in their own quarter-final, began brightly, and led 10-4 when Furkan Korkmaz sank a three-pointer.
But Croatia responded with 10 unanswered points and never trailed again in the game.
Ante Zizic's lay-up put them up 21-13 late in the first quarter and when Mazalin sank the second of two quick three-pointers in the second period they led 34-22.
Turkey briefly threatened the lead in the third period, when a 9-0 spurt highlighted by Korkmaz's three-pointer made it 53-51, but Mazalin scored the next five points himself and then reeled off a personal 8-3 run to start the fourth quarter, putting his team on top 70-58.
That would prove all the margin they needed as they cruised home.
Zizic added 15 points and 15 rebounds for Croatia, while Dragan Bender had 12 rebounds with his six points.
Korkmaz led Turkey with 22 points while Enes Taskiran and Berkan Durmaz each added 17, Durmaz registering 11 rebounds.