Tokyo, July 31, 2021 – TheItaly flies to the quarter-finals in the tournament of Tokyo 2020 Olympics basketball. Success (80-71) against Nigeria in the third match of group B and signed qualification. We close the second group, given the victory ofAustralia against the Germany (89-76). However, the Azzurri are in the lot of the best eight teams in these Olympics, a fantastic goal. In draw tomorrow Italy will therefore be placed in the second bracket and will face one between France, the USA and the winning Spain-Slovenia (scheduled at 10.20 Italian).
Against Nigeria, a real heart-pounding game, decided in a last quarter dominated by the Azzurri. Decisive Melli, Mannion, Polonara and Pajola. Italy brings five men in double figures and enjoys a goal that makes you dream.
The Azzurri who start very strong, not betraying any emotion for the match that is worth an Olympics. Polonara and Fontecchio give wings to Italy (17-5 at 5 ‘) which has a triple charge compared to Nigeria. Mannion enters from the bench and makes the Azzurri touch +14 (24-10) within a truly flawless first quarter. In the second quarter Nigeria finally enters the game, defends and in attack makes the basket and reopens the games (29-27) with the triple by Metu and the low post by Okafor. Italy has stopped playing and is overtaken (34-36) by a Nigeria triggered by the 6.75 range.
After 40-39 of the interval the level of suffering for which the Azzurri are intended increases further. Without making a long-range basket, Italy suffers. Nigeria very concentrated and able to hoist up to the maximum advantage (56-63) at the end of the quarter signed by Nwora’s triple. The joke seems to materialize on the horizon, but it is not. The reaction of the Azzurri in the last quarter is from men with attributes of steel. The secret is defense: Nigeria held one point in the first eight minutes. Inside there are Pajola and Vitali, very precious men in limiting the Nigerian outsiders who sauté from all sides. Italy builds the partial (14-1) there, in defense. In attack then the decisive baskets are from Melli, Mannion and Polonara who pocketed the triple of +6. The basket of the stirrup, however, belongs to Mannion: triple of +7 (76-69) with 29 ” from the end. The bench explodes, coach Sacchetti smiles: the quarter-finals are a reality.
The match report
Italy: Fontecchio 12, Gallinari 3, Mannion 14, Melli 15, Pajola 4, Polonara 13, Ricci 6, Tonut 10, Tessitori 3, Vitali, Moraschini, Often. All .: Bags.
Nigeria: Achiuwa 5, Metu 22, Nwora 20, Okafor 14, Okogie 2, Okpala 2, Oni 3, Vincent 3, Omegano, Nwamu, Udoh ne. All .: Brown.
Partials: 29-17, 40-39, 56-63.
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