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QINGDAO TODAY
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Sports -> 
Italy charges past Puerto Rico
    2019-09-09  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

ITALY overturned a 20-point deficit at half time to emerge victorious against Puerto Rico 94-89 in Group J in outstanding fashion and a great display of character at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Wuhan yesterday.

This is the first time that the Azzurri have won a game in which they were trailing by 15 or more points at half time at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Puerto Rico outplayed Meo Sacchetti’s side in the first two quarters, limiting them to just 13 points in each period.

The Italians closed the gap but still trailed by 14 going into the last quarter.

The Azzurri maintained the same method and even though Puerto Rico forced overtime, Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari stood tall as their experience came in handy.

On his end, Belinelli sunk a game high 27 points and grabbed six defensive rebounds to post his highest tally in 11 games at the World Cup, while Gallinari joined him on the historic table to become the first Italian to combine for 20+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists in a World Cup game since 1994 with his 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.

As confessed by Sacchetti, the half time break was crucial for the Italians as they looked to play for pride and avoid an embarrassing defeat. True to the basics of the game, defense is what guided Italy to eventual victory but it must be said that the players were visibly determined to win this game.

The Puerto Ricans looked lost in the second half. Italy smelled blood and did not look back.

“In the first half, we had a good lead and then in the second half, we got lost. Our defense collapsed,” said Puerto Rico forward Issaiah Pineiro.(FIBA)

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