Turkey meets Italy in Euro qualifiers

Turkey meets Italy in Euro qualifiers

Turkey meets Italy in Euro qualifiers

Turkish center Semih Erden dunks during his teams’ game against Belarus. AA photo

The Turkish national basketball team meets Italy tonight in the second match of the EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers.

Turkey beat Belarus 77-74 in its opening game of the Group F on Aug. 18, while Italy comfortably beat Portugal and Czech Republic.

The top two teams of the five-team group will directly qualify for the 2013 FIBA European Basketball Championship.

Slovenia and Spain have qualified for the finals by virtue of being the host and champion, respectively, while France, Russia, Macedonia, Lithuania, Greece and Great Britain have also qualified by virtue of participating in the 2012 Olympics or in the Games’ qualifiers.

Turkey is currently coached by Bogdan Tanjevic, but Turkish Basketball Federation Chairman Turgay Demirel has said the coaching position will be reconsidered after the group stage.

Turkey is taking the groups with a younger group of players, with previous mainstays such as Hidayet “Hedo” Türkoğlu, Kerem Tunçeri and Ömer Onan left off the roster.

The game starts at 9:30 p.m. and will be shown live on NTV Spor.