The French basketball team ended this Wednesday with the dream of a combative Italy in extra time (93-85), when point guard Thomas Heurtel shone with his own light to propel his team to the semifinals of the European Championship that will play against the winner of Slovenia -Poland.
A 16-8 run in extra time, which forced the former Real Madrid player (20 points) with a basket with 5.7 seconds to go, condemned the transalpine team, who fell with their heads held high before the French wall led by Rudy Gobert (19 points and 14 rebounds).
— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 14, 2022
After eliminating the almighty Serbia in the round of 16, Italy bids farewell to the Eurobasket with their heads held high.
The advantage harvested by France in the first half (38-31) is explained by the success from the perimeter. In the first 20 minutes he scored 27 points on three-pointers. To date, the French team was one of the teams in the championship that produced the fewest points from the 6.75-meter line (just over 22 points per game).
The exterior of the New York Knicks Evan Fournier he shone in the first quarter converting 9 of his team’s 11 points in the opening quarter in favor of France (11-3, min.5).
Focused on stopping Gobert’s hierarchy in the paint, Gianmarco Pozzeco’s pupils suffered defending the perimeter. And Luwawuu- Cabarrota joined the triple festival.
But even so, the Italians endured the pecks of their rival. Faced with the difficulty of becoming great in painting, the transalpine team answered with the same coin. Luigi Datome (12 points), Marco Spissu (21) and Simone Fontecchio (21) prevented the French from taking more advantage in the first act (27-20).
In the second, the defenses prevailed with a rickety partial (11-11). France were penalized for turnovers -11 in the first 20 minutes-, while Italy’s attack was also unable to find free kicks from Fontecchio who, however, finished the first half with 11 points.
After the break, Italy continued to make the accordion on the scoreboard. France exploited their physical superiority in the area with Gobert and Yabusele, the latter showing off his wrist from the perimeter (43-33, min.23).
But Pozzecco’s pupils resisted, charging the offensive rebound and waiting for their moment with quick transitions from Melli and Mannion, as well as triples from Datome and Spissu. And that’s how Italy, taking advantage of Gobert’s break, chained a 3-17 run that gave them a six-point lead before the last quarter (56-62).
The team trained by Vincent Collet reacted with Gobert, commanding in the area, and Heurtel appearing from the perimeter. The giant of the Minnesota Timberwolves approached his team with a kill (68-70) with 3 minutes and 14 seconds to go.
But Italy’s microwaves – Fontecchio and Spisu – put the ground back from the perimeter (68-75, with 2 minutes and 16 seconds to go) before Gobert and Fournier left everything open with a minute to go. (75-77).
Fontecchio missed two free throws with 16 seconds left. On the next possession, Heurtel leveled the match with 5.7 seconds to go (77-77). The Italian forward for the Utah Jazz missed the ball on the last possession and the game went into overtime.
In extra time, the Olympic runner-up found the best version of Heurtel, with six points and two assists, and the solidity of Gobert to end the Italian dream.
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France ends Italy’s dream at the EuroBasket