Spain Win Despite Late Italy Comeback

20.07.2011

U20 European Championship

Spain remain undefeated in the U20 European Championship this time with a 90-85 victory over Italy in Group F action.

Following this win Spain took a 5-0 record in the group to win it in a perfect record, as they did in the Preliminary Round.

Italy put up a great fight but fell to 4-1 and their four wins streak came to an end, still enough to finish in the second spot.

Nikola Mirotic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Joan Sastre added 14, Joan Tomas contributed 13 and Josep Franch reached 11 and five assists.



Alessandro Gentile collected 22 points and seven boards while Riccardo Cervi and Michele Vitali had 13 points each and Riccardo Moraschini added 12.

It was a winner-take-it-all battle for the top spot in the group and the outcome on the floor matched the importance, as Spain kept a steady lead throughout most of the game, but saw Italy almost snatch the victory right before the buzzer.

Gentile on Italy's side and Mirotic on the other kept the score close in the first quarter before a three pointer by Tomas made it 24-21 at the buzzer.

Mirotic scored four in a row and Tomas added another three pointer to set the difference on nine, 33-24 after 12 minutes, but Spain wasn't done yet.

Simeon and Franch pushed the game from the back court and the gap jumped to 19 before the half time break, but a three pointer by Gentile and later by Marco Santiangeli set the margin on 50-37 at the half time rest.

Moraschini took over early in the third quarter and with six points put Italy just 10 points behind, but France and Miguel Lorenzo pushed it back up to 67-50 with three more minutes in the third quarter.

Spain maintained the double-digit gap into the last five minutes but Gentile with a three pointer and a bonus from the line woke up Italy for the last comeback now just seven points away, 80-73 with 3:43 on the game clock.

Gentile with a jumper and Michele Vitali with a three pointer silenced the local fans to make it just an 85-84 game inside the last minute, before a series of walks to the foul line started.

Franch made just one but Gentile converted just a single shot in four attempts which gave Mirotic the chance to increase the lead to four with a pair, 89-85.

Moraschini tried to cut it by half with a quick two but missed a left side lay-up and saw Spain secure the top spot in the group.

In the Quarter-Finals following the rest day Spain will take on Latvia while Italy will go battle Montenegro to stay in the race for the medals.


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