Hurting defeat to start Euro 2007
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on September 4, 2007
This in a nutshell is the story of Italy’s start at the Eurobasket 2007 in Spain, a 68-69 loss vs Slovenia.
It hurts when you lose with a three pointer at the buzzer, and it hurts even more when you basically trailed 39.30 minutes, went up (for the first time !) by 1 point only then, and, after your opponent regained the lead, you scored a three pointer to apparently win it with less then 5 seconds to go.
This is the story of the crazy finish, with Matteo Soragna’s corner trey frustrated by Jaka Lakovic heroics from downtown just before the horn sounded. It was a heck of a shot, so more power to FC Barcelona’s lefthanded guard.
I suggest you to log on to You Tube and find a video about this tomorrow, very fun to watch (unless you are a guido of course).
The rest of the game was something between boring and embarassing for Italy, with the first half ending at 25-38 (!!), that became a 45-56 slovenian lead after three quarters.
“Azzurri” were simply a no match for Slovenia, shooting 3/17 from beyond the line over the first 30 minutes (1/10 in two quarters), missing dunks, layups, wide open shots and turning the ball over. Not that their defense was particularly tough, it was more us sucking, simple as that.
Slovenia was smart enough to take advantage of the matchups, with Matjaz Smodis easily killing us in the low post, and the others (Lakovic, Jagodnik, Lorbek) doing their usual job. Toronto’s center Radoslav Nesterovic was quiet offensively, just like he was playing a NBA game, but helped them controlling the boards, where our Marconato, Crosariol and Gigli struggled all night.
It wasn’t surprising to see them winning the battle under the basket, since everyone knows that Italy’s lacks size and weight, while it was disappointing to see another Raptor, Andrea Bargnani playing so poor on both ends of the floor. The boxscore this time tells you all.
Many of you would probably like to know how Marco Belinelli played. The answer is “bad”. The Warrior was slightly better than Bargnani, with at least a good-but-short stretch in the fourth quarter, but we expect more from him.
We would expect also to see him playing more than 18 minutes, especially in a game where we struggle putting the ball in the damn basket. After all, that’s what this game is all about….
What I liked to see was the typically guidoesque “never give up” attitude, that helped us turn a 15 point deficit in a low scoring game into a 1 point lead, when everyone thought it was closed (not me, honestly).
I also liked Matteo Bulleri‘s wonderful offensive night (my MVP for us, in the picture facing Lakovic), Soragna’s solid contribution and Mordente’s explosion in the second quarter, that helped us stay in the game.
I had the feeling that some of our guys are not ready or not talented enough for a tough competition like this (Crosariol, Gigli) while others might be on their way down (Basile, Marconato, but wait before writing them off).
We’ll see guidos’ reaction tomorrow vs France.
Eva Longoria will attend, time to show who are the machos 🙂