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Group:  G | 24.08.2014, 20:30h
Group:  G | 24.08.2014, 20:30h
68-72
19 - 1717 - 1914 - 1118 - 25
19 - 1717 - 1914 - 1118 - 25
Venue: Cagliari (ITA) |
Spectators: 4000 |
Referees: Vicente Bulto (ESP), Christos Christodoulou (GRE), Uros Obrknezevic (SRB)

GAME REPORT


Russia Stun Italy To Stay Alive

15. Timofey Mozgov (Russia)
Timofey Mozgov played strong under the basket for Russia

Russia needed a big win on the road in their final game in Group G of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round and duly delivered, prevailing 72-68 over Italy in a thrilling encounter.

Russia have now terminated their campaign on a 2-2 record and will have to wait for results on Day 6 to go their way, while Italy have dropped to 2-1 but still have one last game, against Switzerland.

In a clash that was the very definition of a tight contest, Italy held a slight lead for most of the first half but neither team led by more than six points all night, while the game featured eight lead changes and saw the scores tied on 12 occasions.

Italy appeared to be making some headway when Andrea Cinciarini drilled a triple with 30 seconds left in the third to give them a 50-44 cushion, their biggest lead in the game, but it proved a mirage.

Andrey Zubkov split two free throws to tie the scores at 66 with 2:24 remaining and after Alessandro Gentile turned the ball over, Zubkov again pushed Russia ahead with a lay-up, 68-66 with 1:49 left on the clock.

Pietro Aradori committed a second turnover for Italy and Anton Ponkrashov darted down the court but missed the lay-up in a rare miss for him on the night.

Timofey Mozgov however came up with the crucial put-back dunk and gave Russia a 70-66 lead, with 1:15 to the final buzzer.

Ponkrashov and Mozgov delivered the goods for Russia as the former finished with 22 points and eight assists and the big man had 20 points and seven boards.

Gentile had a game-high 23 points and Luigi Datome added 15 points and six rebounds for Italy in losing efforts.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes: Italy vs. Russia

Simone Pianigiani, Italy Head Coach
"Congratulations to Russia for this win, we took 10 rebounds less than Russia and we suffered against their athleticism. In the last quarter we missed two or three easy shots or fast-breaks and Russia stayed close. Now we want to go to Bellinzona to win the last game (against Switzerland) and to close our group with three victories."

Andrea Cinciarini, Italy
"It was a very tough game, we expected this kind of intensity. We could take an important lead in the third quarter but we made some stupid mistakes and we got nervous. We wanted to celebrate our qualification with our fans but after this loss we must remain positive and strong if we want to win our last game in Switzerland."

Evgeny Pashutin, Russia Head Coach
"It was a decisive game, for us. With another loss, we would have been out of the next EuroBasket. My team showed personality, it was not easy to win against Italy and against this great crowd. Italy is a very strong team, with an experienced coach, but we stayed focused until the end, controlling the rhythm of the game. This success is quite a dream for us, this team is very young and unexperienced but this qualification should be very important for the growth of this group."

Timofey Mozgov, Russia
"I am so happy for our game and for a win that could qualify Russia to EuroBasket 2015. I want to congratulate my team-mates; we won as a team and not because of individual performances. Our goal was to win our last two games of this Qualification Round and we reached it, this team is growing game by game."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

31.5%

17/54
FG
M/A

48.3%

28/58

33.3%

12/36
FG2P
M/A

48.9%

23/47

27.8%

5/18
FG3P
M/A

45.5%

5/11

93.5%

29/31
FT
M/A

47.8%

11/23

30

8/22
RT
RO/RD

40

12/28

9

AS

16

13

TO

16

2

ST

5

10

BS

3

21

PF

26

68

Pts

72

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