By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
An 8-0 run in crunch time shapes a good day for Italy.
The team coached by Gianmarco Pozzecco defeated Georgia, 85-84, and punched in a ticket to the 2023 FIBA World Cup Monday. The late rally also clinched a berth for Spain through Group L of the European Qualifiers.
Marco Spissu recorded nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a couple of triples in the game-changing 8-0 stretch handing Italy a four-point lead in the last minute of the European Qualifiers Gameday 10 contest. Additionally packing eight assists, six rebounds, and two steals shaped a team-high efficiency rating of 20. Amedeo Tessitori threw in 15 more points.
Spissu, 27, was on the assisting end for Giampaolo Ricci connecting from beyond the arc to make it a five-point game. Alessandro Pajola turning the ball over and missing two free throws presented Georgia with its last opportunity but with only seven seconds on the clock, not enough time to complete a seemingly impossible comeback.
Shengelia, 31, put in ten of his 15 points in the fourth quarter but fell short running out of time in the last play of the nail-biter, upon officials’ review. Giorgi Shermadini and Duda Sanadze followed with 14 points apiece.
Up to 6-2 in Group L, Italy made it through to the final stage of the World Cup with two games left in the Qualifiers schedule. The team coached by Ilias Zouros fell to 4-4.
Earlier in Arena Riga, Ukraine avoided elimination with a 79-72 victory against Iceland. Oleksandr Lypovyy logged a team-high 16 points. Falling short on the opposite end, Tryggvi Hlinason posted a 24-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Ukraine jumped to 3-5 and forced Iceland to 4-4. The fate of both sides will be determined in the February international window.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL