Finland have crashed out of the quarter finals of the Eurobasket tournament, after a dominant Italy beat them 70-57 in Istanbul.
Italy took charge of the game right from the start, in a painful reminder to Finland of the skills gap between the two teams, and at the end of the first quarter, Finland was already 15 points adrift.
One statistic that highlights that gap: Finland’s NBA star player Lauri Markkanen failed to score any points in the first quarter, while Italy’s Nicolo Melli had already exceeded the tournament’s points average by four points.
At half time, Italy lead 48-29 and showed no signs of letting that slip.
The atmosphere in Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Arena was flat, and even a hundred traveling Susijengi – Wolfpack – fans couldn’t lift the mood.
Petteri Koponen gave a brief moment of hope, when he threw seven quick points at the beginning of the third quarter, but the counterattack didn’t amount to much, as Finland were still trailing by 16 points going into the fourth and final quarter.
A last minute tactics switch-up was meant to breathe new life into the Finnish team, but it didn’t change the dynamics of the match as hoped, and at the buzzer Finland were ready to hit the showers, while Italy’s Eurobasket quest continues with a berth in the semi finals.