Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

Italy’s Giampaolo Ricci within the Fiba World Cup. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.web

MANILA, Philippines — Giampaolo Ricci got here to the rescue within the fourth quarter as Italy overcame Puerto Rico, 73-57, and booked its first Fiba World Cup quarterfinals look in 25 years on Sunday at Sensible Araneta Coliseum.

Ricci scored 10 of his 15 factors within the payoff interval to assist Italy draw back within the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead, 68-57, and put away the sport with 2:21 remaining . They attain the ultimate part for the primary time since 1998 when their coach Gianmarco Pozzecco was nonetheless enjoying for the crew.

“We’re completely happy. This recreation was essential for us. We dreamt of being within the high eight of the World Cup and we realized that. We simply did what the teaching advised us. We fought for 40 minutes. Puerto Rico is a superb crew, it has numerous expertise,” mentioned Ricci. “I believe it’s a crew win as a result of we gained the sport by way of protection one other time. They solely scored 57 factors It’s a terrific emphasis of this recreation.”

“We are going to carry on dreaming,” he added.

Stefano Tonut additionally scored 15 factors on 7-of-10 capturing, setting the tone for his or her win with 13 within the first half. 

Utah Jazz ahead Simone Fontecchio overcame a two-point manufacturing within the first two quarters, the place he shot 1-of-7 from the sphere, as he nonetheless completed with 12 factors and 12 rebounds to complete the second spherical with a 4-1 report, dealing with both Group USA or Lithuania within the quarterfinals beginning on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Area.

Italy veteran ahead Luigi Datome was additionally instrumental with 11 factors in his two hundredth recreation for the Azzurri. Marco Spissu had eight factors, six assists, and 4 rebounds, whereas Nicolo Melli added seven markers and 12 rebounds.

Puerto Rico completed the second spherical with a 3-2 report, lacking the ultimate part as Tremont Waters, who scored 37 final recreation, solely completed with 13 factors on 2-of-10 three-point capturing however he dished out 9 assists.

Jordan Howard chipped in 11 factors and 4 rebounds, as Isaiah Pineiro and Ismael Romero added 9 markers every.

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