European basketball, Italy enterprise: Jokic’s Serbia beaten, now France is in the quarterfinals

from Flavio Vanetti

Italy led by Pozzecco (expelled) manages to repeat the feat of a year ago in the Olympic qualifiers. In Berlin against the national team of two times Mvp Nba Jokic ends 94-86. Spissu, Melli, Fontecchio and Polonara the best

Beyond good and evil. Again beyond the impossible, or allegedly so. Once again superior to everything: the prediction, the opponent’s frightening talent and his overwhelming physicality, a match that started very badly and ended with the ecstasy of a triumph even higher than that of July 2021 in Belgrade, when there was the Tokyo Games pass is at stake.

Italy promoted to the Eurobasket quarters: on Wednesday in Berlin he will challenge France to enter the medal zone. He slapped Serbia again – which for this time it was Nikola Jokic
, the end of the world bomb, as Doctor Strangelove would have said -, did he let it vent without disuniting, patiently got back in the wake and took off – more on the emotional level or on that of the game? Both things – when Gianmarco Pozzecco remedied his second technical foul and was sent off.

We want to tell the film of the match from here, from 25’17 ” and from the expulsion of a tearful coach, who greeted and encouraged his players one by one before leaving the field. Often living on the edge, sometimes beyond, is a flaw that the Poz will have to fix. But in the circumstance it was the fuse that ignited a team that perhaps was just waiting for a spark to tell itself that Serbia, despite the draws (13-24) and the qualities of its phenomena, especially of that big and bad man who dominates under the basket and even hits from a distance, she could still be caught and maybe tamed.

It is no coincidence that at that moment – score: 57-63 – Marco Spissu exploded. a great friend of Pozzecco, but first of all the point guard he launched and in whom he perhaps sees his past again. Marco hadn’t been great so far, but he chose the perfect evening to deny his detractors: bim, boom, bam, three triples to equalize (66-66), after the others had narrowed the gap; then a fourth for the first advantage (69-68) and a fifth to feed the dream (74-68). At his side a wonderful blue flowered, in which Melli did everything and more, Pajola defended for three, Polonara – his trepunti of the incredible +12, 82-70 – and Fontecchio in turn torpedoed the Serbs , fueling a 16-2 knockout run.

Basketball is an exact science, even in proposing the messages of the body and soul. Serbia, incredulous that it is reliving the Great Nightmare, has collapsed like Goliath knocked down by David’s slingshot. At a certain point he no longer believed it, he tried to put her in caciara (helped by scarce referees), he missed shots that he usually pocket. And Jokic (32 points plus 13 rebounds) after a last feat (triple from half court with foul) was even stopped, the photo of the defeat.

The heroes are ours again. Spissu 22, Melli 21, Fontecchio 19, Polonara 16: Italy imposed the lead with shooting, but won thanks to the sense of the group, which is its trademark. Few hoped for it, success: pozzesco.

September 11, 2022 (change September 11, 2022 | 21:49)

European basketball, Italy enterprise: Jokic’s Serbia beaten, now France is in the quarterfinals