Turning Point: Italy scored the last four points in the first half to create some separation at the interval, 42-37, but that provided little guarantee of a breakthrough in an an incredibly tight clash which had seen 13 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. Shortly after play resumed however, Italy tightened the screws on defence and a step-back three by Danilo Gallinari gave them the first double-digit lead, 54-43, with 6:23 remaining in the third. Marco Belinelli hit two three-pointers in the final 34 seconds of the frame, either side of a Jan Vesely free-throw, and the Italian lead ballooned to 74-54.
Stats Don't Lie: Italy had only connected on two of their seven attempts from downtown in the opening two periods, but shot a fantastic 6-for-6 from three-point range in the third quarter stretch that in effect determined the outcome.
Game Hero: Although Italy relied on a balanced effort of their four big stars which had less than 24 hours of rest following Wednesday's quarter-final effort, the often vilified Andrea Bargnani signed off with his best performance of the tournament. The big man did very well the things he does best, especially off the pick'n'pop, collecting a team-high 21 points on 8-of-14 and adding two boards and one assist.
Bottom Line: Italy will finish in sixth place, behind Greece, based on the global record of the two teams in the competition. The Czech Republic will get one last chance to qualify to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, in a Friday clash with Latvia. The two sides met earlier in the tournament, Latvia winning 72-65.
They Said: "Congratulations to my team-mates, it took a big effort mentally more than physically to overcome the dissapointment of yesterday and win this game. We are going to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and this is the goal we had set, so we must be satisifed" - Italy captain Luigi Datome.