The Azzurri beat Buscaglia’s team 75-73, taking their first victory in the World Cup qualifiers. Akele, 18 points, the best
Italy has awakened. But how much suffering to beat the Netherlands 75-73 in Milan and take their first victory in the World Cup qualifiers after Friday’s knockout in Russia. The Azzurri have always given the impression of being superior to their opponents, but with triple and character Buscaglia’s team has always been in the game, even overtaking with 2 ‘from the end. For now, the Azzurri care about winning, to better prepare for the double challenge with Iceland at the end of February.
The best of the blues was Nicola Akele, 18 points and 6 rebounds and constantly valuable in attack. As in the end, Stefano Tonut was precious, 13 points and 6 assists and as much character as Michele Vitali, less showy (7 points, 3 assists and 2 steals) but still precious. Amedeo Tessitori also did well, 13 points and 4 rebounds despite the problems of fouls, and the rookie Mattia Udom (5 points and 4 rebounds) in the first half also showed Diego Flaccadori as reserve play. The Netherlands remained in the game for a long time with character and triples (11 on target), managing in the long run especially thanks to Hammink to undermine the defensive certainties of the Azzurri.
The Azzurri seem to be able to dominate when they fly to 16-5 with Diouf at 3’43 “from the first siren, but Holland reacts and returns up to 24-23 less than 3 ‘inside the second quarter. The reaction of Italy is overbearing, like Akele’s physique: the 42-29 that Diouf seals from the bezel becomes 47-39 at the siren. The Azzurri remained for 7 ‘without baskets from the field in the third quarter, but the Netherlands did not take advantage of it and when Akele unblocked them the Azzurri launched the escape, arriving with Tessitori at 62-51 with 9’ from the end. The Azzurri freeze again and Holland takes advantage of it for a sensational reversal, overtaking at 69-67 with Van der Vuurst with 2’54 ”from the end. Italy finds itself right on the edge of the abyss, re-establishing the distance with a 7-0 run powered by 4 points from Akele. The Netherlands kept the match alive until the end, with Franke’s 74-73 with 5 ”to go.
Italy: Akele 18, Tonut 13, Tessitori 13
Olanda: Hammink 19, De Jong 14, Kloof 11
29 November – 22:26
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