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As a rookie with the Cavaliers this past season, Cedi Osman experienced his first taste of the NBA and gave Wine & Gold fans a glimpse at what the basketball world overseas already knew. Osman can flat out play.
The 23-year old swingman continued to prove this on Thursday in Ankara, Turkey when he fueled a first half comeback to help his Turkey squad advance to the next phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers with a 80-66 victory over Ukraine.
Turkey overcame a double-digit deficit in the first quarter led by Osman's infectious activity at both ends of the floor, canning triples, taking it strong to the basket and jumping the passing lanes of defense. Turkey would outscore Ukraine, 36-12, in the second quarter to take a commanding 50-41 lead into the half and would proceed to cruise the rest of the way for the 14-point victory.
Osman finished with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, adding four boards in 20 minutes of play.
"We were terrible to start the game but in the second quarter we turned it around and we didn't have turnovers," said Turkey Head Coach Ufuk Sarica. "We weren't great in the third but we played our game again in the fourth. The NBA experience (for Osman and Korkmaz) has really helped them and they have gotten bigger and more confident."
Turkey's next game will be on Sunday, July 1 against Sweden.