Belinelli, Italy Fall In EuroBasket Quarterfinals
Story by KL Chouinard
Marco Belinelli scored a team-high 18 points, but Italy lost its EuroBasket quarterfinals match to Serbia by an 83-67 margin.
Italy made a fourth-quarter run to cut the deficit to 8 points with five minutes remaining, but a three by Sacramento King Bogdan Bojanovic stopped the run and helped Serbia keep Italy at bay. Serbia controlled the flow of the game for most of the contest by grabbing 44 rebounds to Italy’s 19.
Belinelli came into the game converting his threes at a scorching 51.1 percent rate, but he made just 2 of 11 in the quarterfinal for an Italian team that made only 8 of 29 overall.
Bogdanovic led Serbia with 22 points. Ognjen Kuzmic and Boban Marjanovic each collected 7 rebounds for Serbia.
Italy went 0-for-7 from three in the third quarter. When Pietro Aradori finally swished a 50-foot heave at the end of the period, it was disallowed because he released the shot after the buzzer.
Belinelli was part of a strong defensive effort that held Serbia scoreless for the game’s first four and a half minutes, but Serbia clawed back to take an 18-17 lead after the first quarter.
Italy fell behind against a larger Serbian lineup in the second quarter, especially as some of the Italian interior players got into foul trouble trying to battle on the glass. By the end of the half, Serbia had 22 rebounds to Italy’s 7.
Serbia advances to play Russia in the semifinal Friday.
For the tournament, Belinelli averaged 17.9 points and 2.0 assists per game. He also ended the tournament with 2.1 steals per game, a number that currently ranks him seventh on the EuroBasket 2017 leader list.