Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Italy coach Gianmarco Pozzecco celebrates together with his gamers after their comeback win over Serbia within the Fiba World Cup second spherical. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.web

MANILA, Philippines–Simone Fontecchio erupted for 30 factors to grease Italy’s 78-76 win over Serbia within the second spherical of Fiba World Cup on Friday night time.

However a lot of that beautiful comeback wouldn’t have been potential if not for the squad’s ageing skipper, Gigi Datome, the Utah Jazz standout mentioned.

“I imply, Gigi is simply, you understand, merely a legend. What he did at the moment was only a cherry on prime of his profession which is one thing unbelievable,” Fontecchio mentioned shortly after the win at Sensible Araneta Coliseum in Quezon Metropolis.

“He confirmed us the way in which. Down 16, it doesn’t matter what, he saved taking part in. How outdated is he? 35? He was simply merely superb, main by instance,” he went on.

Datome, a EuroLeague champion, completed with 10 factors, most of it coming in a third-quarter flurry that saved the Eagles inside putting vary.

It was a well timed step-up efficiency for the veteran, who additionally performed for the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics, having been restricted to simply single-digit outputs earlier than Friday night time—together with within the win over Gilas just a few nights in the past.

“He’s our captain, he’s our chief, he’s simply the most effective teammate you may think about and that basically pushed us to seek out the final stand that we had in our physique to make a comeback,” Fontecchio mentioned.

Fontecchio and Datome subsequent play Puerto Rico, which is main the Dominican Republic in a recreation that’s being performed as of press time.

These three groups and Serbia are in a decent race for a quarterfinal berth that would imply a conflict with the favored Crew USA, which was severely examined by Montenegro at Mall of Asia additionally Friday night time.

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