Turkey loses to Ukraine in Basketball World Cup

Turkey loses to Ukraine in Basketball World Cup

Turkey loses to Ukraine in Basketball World Cup

Ukraine's centre Kyryl Natyazhko (L) vies with Turkey's forward Baris Hersek during the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships group C match Ukraine vs Turkey at the Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Sept. 2. AFP Photo

Turkish national men’s basketball team dug itself a hole with a 64-58 defeat to Ukraine in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Sept. 2.

With the defeat, Turkey fell to 1-2 after three games, while Ukraine improved to 2-1.

Turkey failed to stop Ukraine’s sharpshooters, Ihor Zayitsev and Olexandr Mishula, whose combined 31 points and late shots were crucial.

After trailing as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, Turkey had a 6-0 run to cut the gap to 46-45. However, Ukraine hit back and regained the momentum 53-47 with four minutes left in the play Sinan Güler and Emir Preldzic went to the line in two consecutive plays, only converting half of their attempts to make the score 53-49 with 3:03 left.

Zayitsev and Mishulov, however, scored two crucial back-to-back three-pointers to give Ukraine a 59-53 lead with less than two minutes in the play. The duo was again on target in the last two minutes, sealing the win for Ukraine.

Turkey will meet Finland in a crucial game in Group C, while Ukraine will take on New Zealand on Sept. 3.

The United States, firmly on course to win the group will take on the Dominican Republic.

The top four teams in the six-team group will advance to the round of 16, and the groups advancing from Group C will face the four teams from Group D. Slovenia and Lithuania are likely to take the top two spots of the group, while Mexico, Angola and Australia are battling for the next two spots. South Korea is without a win after its three matches in the group.