Turkey fails to stop late Italian rally in qualifier

Turkey fails to stop late Italian rally in qualifier

Turkey fails to stop late Italian rally in qualifier

Turkey is third in the Group F of the 2013 European Championship qualifiers with one win and one defeat. AA photo

The Turkish national men’s basketball team was defeated with a late run by Italy during their FIBA European Basketball Championships qualifying round game Aug. 21.

Turkey lost 78-69 in its second game in the group.

Turkey dominated most of the first three periods of the game, and entered the last quarter with a 55-51 lead. A 6-0 run early in the last period gave Turkey a 10-point lead, but Italy hit back with another 13-3 rally led by Luigi Datome.

With just four minutes left in the game the score was tied 64-64, but then the home team took control of the game and allowed Turkey to sneak by just five points.

Datome led all scorers with 23 points, while Daniel Hackett was the only other Italian player to score in the double digits with 15 points.

Emir Preldzic and İlkan Karaman scored 14 points apiece to lead Turkey, while veteran center Kerem Gönlüm had 12 points and Sinan Güler added 10.

Coach takes the blame
Turkey’s coach Bogdan Tanjevic said that he was partially responsible for the team’s late slump.

“We were great for 35 minutes of the game, but in the end we lost control,” Tanjevic said during the post-game press conference. “I have a fault in there. Usually I rotate my players during the game, but this time I did not do that. We had no energy left in the last minutes of the game.”

Turkey will meet Portugal tomorrow in Ankara for its third game in the group.

Turkey slipped down to the third spot in the group with one win and one defeat in two games. Italy leads with three wins out of three games, while Czech Republic jumped to second spot after beating Portugal 74-67. Belarus and Portugal have two defeats in two games.