Italy stuns Jokic’s Serbia and takes the path of the Blues

Italy stuns Jokic’s Serbia and takes the path of the Blues

Italy stuns Jokic’s Serbia and takes the path of the Blues

The Italians, led by Simone Fontecchio (right) and Alessandro Pajola, surprised Nikola Jokic's Serbia at Euro basketball.

“We shocked the world! “ When he was a player, Gianmarco Pozzecco was a will-o’-the-wisp, capable of igniting at any moment, inside and outside the game. Now coach of the Italian men’s basketball team, the Transalpin continues to put on a show. At the end of a game, he calls “probably as the greatest in the history of Italian basketball”, his team took the upper hand on Sunday 11 September against Serbia of NBA double MVP (“most valuable player”, best player) of the NBA, Nikola Jokic, in the round of 16 of Euro (94-86). Thanks to this surprise victory against one of the tournament favorites, the Italians will face the French on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals of the competition.

Expelled at the beginning of the second period, Pozzecco witnessed the enterprise of his troops from afar. At the final whistle, the expansive coach rushed into the field from which he had been excluded, to bow to his men. “It would take twelve security guards to stop me, and more, UFC guys [ligue de sport de combat nord-américaine]like Conor McGregor “smiled the technician. Laughter, after tears during his red card (for a second technical error), where he hugged each of his players, and greeted his Serbian counterpart, Svetislav Pesic.

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“This ejection was a complicated moment for us, but we stayed together. And mentally we were very strong., explained Captain Luigi Datome. After starting the game badly, and immediately seeing the Serbs take the lead, the Transalpines fought hard to undermine the Serbian certainties, in the Berlin arena, located not far from the remains of the Berlin Wall. Driven by the match Marco Spissu – who scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half – the Italians caught fire, led by an insolent three-point intervention, and a tenacious defense, despite a size disadvantage, especially against the pivot Nikola Jokic.

Next opponent of the Transalpina, France is booked

And when the Serbian pivot stopped briefly, Italy widened the gap. “No player can play 40 minutes, he is one of the best players in the world, so we tried to take advantage of the few things he can do a little less well”, the strong external Giampaolo Ricci blows. Despite 32 points and 13 rebounds, the Serbian leader failed to bring his teammates to victory.

In office for a few months – he was appointed at the beginning of June – Gianmarco Pozzecco infused his troops with his “atomic fly” energy, nickname when he abused ground defenses. “He is our leader, our boss. We would follow him into the war.assures Giampaolo Ricci, for whom, like all his teammates, the expulsion of his coach was a turning point in the match. “The exclusion of the coach created something in usMarco Spissu insisted. He told us “Win for me”. “ A few minutes later, the Squadra Azzurra took control of the match, never to give up.

The Italian coach Gianmarco Pozzecco in the round of 16 against Serbia.

Coming to watch the match as spectators, the French staff will have things to say to their flock during their next training session on Monday. Because the Blues, like all observers, expected a victory for Serbia, after having painfully extricated themselves from the Turkish trap last Saturday (87-86 victory in extra time). And to suffer the wrath of Nikola Jokic and his teammates, on Wednesday in the quarter-finals (17:15). Instead, they will find the Azzurri, who have beaten twice in preparation (78-77 in Bologna, 100-68 in Montpellier). And that they had eliminated last year in the same phase as the Olympic Games.

Read also: Euro basket 2022: miraculously, the Blues extricate themselves at the last minute from the Turkish trap and rise to the quarter-finals

In a trance, after having thrown a tournament favorite, Italy would see themselves doing the same against the French. “After the game we played tonight, I’m not sure France want to face us”, concludes the strong exterior Giampaolo Ricci. “We don’t want to stop here.”

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