Italy Win Pushes Turkey To The Brink

05 September 2012

EUROBASKET QUALIFIERS

8. Danilo Gallinari (Italy)
Danilo Gallinari led the way for Italy with 19 points and six rebounds

Italy clinched their spot in the EuroBasket with a victory over the Czech Republic at the weekend and on Wednesday night in Kayseri, they celebrated with a famous come-from-behind triumph over Turkey.

Trailing by 18 points late in the first half, the Azzurri battled back to win 83-82 to remain unbeaten seven games into the Qualification Round.

Danilo Gallinari and Pietro Aradori scored 19 points apiece for the Italians, who have pushed the Turks to the brink.

Bogdan Tanjevic, who coached Italy to the EuroBasket gold medal in 1999 but is now in charge of Turkey, has a side that is 3-3 with two games remaining.

Their best chance of making it to next year's Final Round looks to be as one of the four third-place teams in the six groups.

But they will have to win against Portugal and the Czech Republic to have a realistic shot of doing that.

All appeared to be going according to plan late in the first half when a Baris Hersek basket pushed Turkey's advantage to 42-28.

Italy shaved five points off the deficit before the break after a lay-up from captain Stefano Mancinelli, a three-ball from NBA star Gallinari and a jumper from Angelo Gigli.

The visitors then began the third quarter by reeling off seven unanswered points to trim the Turkish lead to 44-38.

Turkey managed to take a 62-56 advantage to the final quarter and went in front 70-59 on a Dogus Balbay lay-up with 7:52 to go.

The Italians stormed back with Aradori nailing a three-ball and then a jumper to close the gap to 70-66.

Turkey kept their noses in front and victory again looked the most likely outcome for them until Italy's Daniel Hackett connected from long range to cut the deficit to 82-81.

Gallinari then blocked Kerem Gonlum's lay-up, and possession went back to Italy.

After a Tanjevic timeout, Luigi Datome drilled a go-ahead jumper with just seven seconds to go.

Ender Arslan missed a potential game-winning jumper just two seconds from the end for Turkey as Italy held on.


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