Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos
Russia – Italy 69-76
Italy edged Russia in Koper at the end of the first Day at 2013 EuroBasket. Italy grabbed a 76:69 win due to the loud support of the neighboring city. Luigi Datome (203-F-87) and Voronov scored the first points for the teams in the start of the game. Shved gave Russia 4:2 but it became the last lead for the Russian team in the game. Italy grabbed the lead in the first period and continued their dominance. Gentile closed the first period at 25:18 and then Belinelli nailed three for 10-point advantage. Diener and Gentile brought 35:23, while Luigi Datome nailed another three for 40:24. Antonov sent the teams to the lockers at 42:29 as Italy won the second frame 17-11. Luigi Datome scored 4 points early in the third period Gentile later added two for 52:35. Italy did not allow the Russian side to come closer and Belinelli closed the third period at 56:42. Russia started the last quarter strong and created a 7-2 run for 58:49. Luigi Datome gave Italy 63:50 midway through the last period, while Pietro Aradori (195-SG-88) and Antonov exchanged the shots for 65:53. Monya scored five points in a row for 72:68 with less than a minute to go. Again Luigi Datome made two last points in the game for the final result. Luigi Datome stepped up with 25 points for the winners, while Belinelli brought 16. Pietro Aradori posted 13, whilst Gentile had 8. Shved answered with 17 points for the Russian team and Monya scored 13. Fridzon notched 12 and Antonov shot 8.
Sweden – Greece 51-79
Greece opened their EuroBasket campaign with confidence. They left no chance for Sweden in the starting game. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) scored 13 points to pace well-balanced Greek team. The teams started rather slow. Greece nailed just 15 points but it was enough for a 2-point lead at the first break. The Hellenes opened the second quarter on a 10:0 run to clear off. Sweden struggled to slow down their opponents. Greece marched to a 39:21 halftime lead. The margin grew at 20-point mark midway through the third term. Greece entered the fourth stanza up by 24 points 59:35. The Hellenes soon opened a 30-point lead and never looked back en route to the victory. Ioannis Bourousis finished with 12 points, while Konstantinos Sloukas had 10 points in the win. Jeffery Taylor (200-F-89, college: Vanderbilt) netted 16 points for Sweden. Jonas Jerebko chipped in 8 points in the defeat.
Turkey – Finland 55-61
Finland shocked Turkey at the start of 2013 EuroBasket. Petteri Koponen and Sasu Salin stepped up with 12 points each to pace the Finnish team. Finland dominated throughout the first half. Turkey struggled offensively in the first period. They scored just 8 points in the opening ten minutes and trailed by two 8:10. Finland unloaded 22 points in the second quarter and opened a comfortable 32:19 halftime lead. Turkey stopped the rot in the third quarter. They narrowed the gap at 11-point mark at the final intermission. Kerem Gonlum (208-PF-77) and Asik put Turkey within 5 points 47:52 midway through the final term. But Sasu Salin hit a timely three-pointer and Huff added two points as Finland restored a safe cushion. Turkey refused to surrender as Ender Arslan (190-PG-83) and Preldzic made it 55:57 with 25 seconds to go. But Huff and Sasu Salin sealed the win for Finland in the dying seconds. Samuel Haanpaa posted 9 points for the winners. Ender Arslan answered with 12 points for Turkey. Kerem Gonlum had 11 points in the loss.
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