By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nico Mannion lost the last shot of Italy in overtime and France managed despite two missed free throws by Rudy Gobert to hold on for the 78-77 (69-69) prep win in Bologna. The Olympic silver medalists against ambitious Italy were not able to perform as they would want, shooting just 62% in free throws and 21% in threes.
However, Gobert with 15 points and seven rebounds, and also Vincent Poirier with 14 points and 11 rebounds did the damage inside the paint.
For the Italians, who also had a bad shooting day (66% FT, 32% FG), the newest Utah addition Simone Fontecchio scored 24 points for a personal best in the national team and Danilo Gallinari added 13, including the three that sent the game to overtime.
After the game, John Petrucelli was cut from the Italian national team roster.
In another prep game, Germany beat the Netherlands just by two points (68-66) while resting Franz Wagner, Daniel Theis, David Kramer, and Andreas Obst. That gave Maodo Lo the chance to shine with 16 points, while Dennis Schroder and Johannes Voightmann added 14 points each.
It was a close call, as the Netherlands made it a one-point game with 14 seconds left (67-66), Lo was fouled but missed both attempts from the free throw line, however, Germany got the offensive rebound, Schroder made 1/2 free throws and the game was over.
Last but not least Estonia got the 79-66 win over Belgium behind Maik Kotsar (19 p. 8 r.) and Kerr Kriisa who had 15 points on 5/6 threes. Manu Lecomte scored 14 points for Belgium.
Estonia will play in Eurobasket Group C with Greece, Ukraine, Great Britain, Italy, and Croatia, while Belgium is part of Group A with Montenegro, Georgia, Spain, Bulgaria, and Turkey. France, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia. Lithuania and Bosnia are part of Group B, which is considered the hardest of the first Eurobasket phase.