Italy kicks off World Cup with 46-point win

2019-08-31T15:07:09+00:00 2019-08-31T15:43:58+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

31/Aug/19 15:07

Early three-pointers gave the Italians a very big lead.

By Eurohoops Team/

It did not get exciting at any point in terms of the winning side, but Italy displayed its strength with the 108-62 win against the Philippines. Meo Sacchetti’s side jumped to a big lead and never looked back on Saturday at Foshan.

The Italians tied the country’s World Cup record with 62 points in the first half and marked a new record with 37 points in the first quarter. Individually, Luigi Datome and Amedeo Della Valle shared a team-high 17 points, and Danilo Gallinari sank four threes for 16 points.

“It is always very good to start in the right way especially with great intensity we showed offensively and defensively” Gallinari noted in the post game press conference. “We established our lead from the beginning and did a great job.”

The Group D affair was certainly one-sided mainly due to Joseller Guiao’s side ineffective defense. The Azzurri got hot early, finished the first half with 11/17 shots beyond the arc and went on for the comfortable win with 15/31 threes keeping in mind the next 2019 FIBA World Cup challenges.

“We did not leave anything easy for Philippines. We moved the ball very well finding an extra shot to make the bucket” mentioned the Italian head coach and furthered on next group opponents: “We know Serbia very well. We do not dare to compare with them, but are focused on our next match versus Angola.”

The victorious national team remained undefeated against Asian sides in the World Cup. The match versus the Philippines was their eleventh.

“They have size at the guard position we do not have. They have quickness in their picks that we do not have” confessed the Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao. “We knew we were the underdogs, but we wanted to play better.”

Andray Blatche was not nearly enough for the losing side. He shared a team-high 15 points with Jaymar Perez, added a game-high 10 rebounds, but was responsible for 9 out the losing side’s 23 turnovers.

“It was one of those nights for us” Kiefer Ravena noted after being held to 5 points with 2/9 from the field. “We can not wait for Andray to play the whole game. You lose your mind when you look at the stats. Experience is the one thing we can take from this game.”

Up next for Italy (1-0) will be Angola (0-1) on Monday. The Philippines (0-1) will collide with Serbia (1-0).