Italian basketball crushes Bahrain in pre-Olympic debut

The Italian basketball team began the (difficult) journey to the Paris Games by beating Bahrain in the first match of Group B of the Olympic Preparatory Tournament, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico: the final score was 114-53, in all respects. Clearly in favor of the Azzurri (19-9: 28-16; 29-17; and even 38-11 in the final period). Final +61 is not a record in the history of the national basketball team, Considering that in 1979 the unfortunate Ireland suffered a 79-point gap over the Azzurra at the time and that the records also show +66 over Switzerland (that was in 1987: on that day in Forlì, Antonello Riva became Italy’s all-time top scorer, in a single match, he rose to 46) and +64 in 2005 over Georgia. But such a great victory still stands, having given the right blank to the opponent, a good start. In a short tournament with clear rules, where you have to approach perfection and, above all, maintain high concentration against everyone.

A match taken seriously, even with the odds in its favour.

Looking at the numbers, the positive side is that Italy took the match seriously as the odds were in their favour.. After an inaccurate start (but on the other side things were worse), the Azzurra returned to the lead, quickly taking a big lead (16-4, 19-6) and also spending the right amount of energy on defense. Bahrain immediately saw their best player, the naturalized American Wayne Chiso, constrained by mistakes, and surprised with an 8-0 lead at the start of the second quarter (27-9). But once this big lead was built, the team reduced its intensity and took it lightly, the only flaw in the match: a 10-3 flash that revived the opponent (30-19), but it was just a flash because after the time spent by coach Bozeko to explain, the team returned with the right attitude. Since then it has been Monologue, with the advantage that it grew relentlessly.

See also  He was dealing with Lotito for 8 days

On an individual level, everyone scored.

The small size of the opponent – in whose ranks the thirty-year-old Hassan was the “attractive”, wider than tall but able to hold the court with dignity – increased Italy’s numbers as best they could: the national team shot with an overall efficiency of 60% (41% three-pointers, 71% two-pointers) and dominated the air by grabbing 45 rebounds (+21 in the specific item). The number of assists is impressive, says Bozzico: 39; but perhaps the FIBA ​​detector had wide sleeves. On an individual level, everyone scored, with Melli and Gallinari (14 points each) getting the lion’s share, followed by Abbas (11) and Caruso and Portolani, who usually employ less, and they got 11 points in just a few minutes on the scoresheet.

The first step is completed.

So the first step was taken: it was supposed to be more than just a training session, and that’s how it ended up. However, Bozeco speaks of the personal tension in the early stages: “We weren’t playing well, which is what we started to do afterwards. We have great respect for all our opponents, and that was the case tonight too. I’m happy that the players played hard for 40 minutes, applied pressure and did exactly what we had prepared. Now we look forward with confidence and think about Puerto Rico. We are here to dream and we want to make it a reality.”

Now the bar has been raised.

The bar has already been raised: on the night between Thursday 4 and Friday 5, there will be a challenge against the home team to determine the semi-finals (in our case we have already won) on Saturday 6, and we will also understand that based on the results of the first group, if Lithuania – theoretically the opponent to beat to deserve Paris – we will find it immediately or in a possible final. However, it does not matter much: sooner or later, we will have to face it and try to beat it. The law of the previous Olympic tournaments – in the one held in Athens, where the lazy Slovenia led by Luka Doncic was already in a difficult situation, having lost badly to Croatia – is very simple and does not allow for mistakes. A certain point onwards.

See also  "Building a new Juventus, a new board of directors, to better defend ourselves"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *