Riga (EST), 24 August 2022 – In the first match of the second qualifying phase ai World Cup 2023 L’ Italy of coach Gianmarco Pozzecco got the better of an ‘ Ukraine who cornered her for more than 25 minutes.
I start with the low gears for the Azzurri who, between defense of the area at least revisable, and a staid rhythm in attack, even reached -11 towards the end of the second quarter and we must thank a monumental Nick Melli if the passive did not reach even more worrying peaks, in fact the Reggiano was the only one to save himself along with some flashes of the usual Fontecchio in a very worrying first fraction. Not even the entrance of the two great old men Gallinari And Datome he managed to balance a fairly troubling performance, with Spissu evanescent, Mannion hectic, Polonara And Pajola in search of themselves e Tonut always with a half lap delay.
In the changing rooms the Pozz he must have sounded the alarm clock with his polite and never over the top ways and the effect was immediately seen. The partial of 22-38 of the third quarter resulted from a ‘ Italbasket who finally put energy on every block, who didn’t allow anything easy and who finally turned frenzy into aggression, and who was the one who showed the way? Always him, the SuperFontecchio of the last two years, now the true leader of the Azzurri. Having shown the way all have adapted, Spissu started sewing basketball, Tonut he rediscovered his certainties, Nico Mannion the road to its North South accelerations e Giampaolo Ricci he tied everything with his concreteness, his knowing how to stay on the pitch and, why not, his elbows.
Now Italy is awaited by the very important match in Brescia on 27 August against Georgia which it will have to do without Tornik’e Shengelia injured his shoulder against the Netherlands and also in doubt for the Europeans. Coach Pozzecco will have to think carefully about the last cut to be made and a question, in my opinion, will have to ask: are we sure we can give up Tessitori given the difficulties we have had today in controlling our scoreboards?
So the CT Gianmarco Pozzecco:
“I am proud of my players. We entered the field perhaps too concentrated and eager to win and Ukraine took advantage of our nervousness to gain confidence. In the second half, however, we rediscovered the joy of playing and produced two high-level quarters. We won a sensationally important game thanks to all my boys, no one excluded. I’m not a coach who defends his choices, I’m a coach who defends his players. Until the end“.
Partial: 19-19; 26-15; 22-38; 22-25.
Ivan Tkachenko 7: is a thorn in his side for a good part of the match, he presses and scores from the bow taking advantage of the blue amnesias, he falls in the second half.
Denys Lukashov 7.5: is the best of his, he directs and manages the times with mastery, sending Italy out of the loop as far as he is on the field, maybe a few more minutes he would have deserved it.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk 4: he was the most awaited man among our opponents, but the Raptor betrays expectations by stubbornly in a useless and sterile sequence of 3-point shots.
Vyacheslav Bobrov 5: he holds the field decently in the first half, but when Fontecchio is unleashed he doesn’t know which way to turn.
Andrii Voinalovych ng
Artem Pustovyi 6.5: in the first half it is a real puzzle, he scores from anywhere and often with very complicated solutions, in the second half he is seen less, but he certainly deserved it a few more minutes.
Alex Len 6+: he also takes advantage of the start to be ready to take advantage of the Italian slowness, in the second half he drops.
Issuf Sanon 6.5: he starts from the bench, but when he enters he makes himself felt, puts physicality and inspiration, he gets injured at the end of the third quarter by going out on the Gallo bomb that closes the set and will never come back.
Bogdan Bliznyuk 6: elbowing, throws himself and protests, however, he does not miss the garra, perhaps a little too used, but he gives everything he has.
Dmytro Skapintsev ne
Volodymyr Herun 6.5: he is the typical player who does not see himself, but feels himself, a game facilitator, does the simple and linear things that are needed.
Illya Sydorov 5: he begins with artifice fires by inventing a couple of very difficult baskets, but he gets upset and exaggerates, presumptuous.
Marco Spissu 6+: starts badly, like the whole team, but in the second half begins to dictate the pace and makes the team enter the games with much more determination, mature proof.
Nico Mannion 6.5: frantic start in which he misses every conclusion, rest is good for him and energy combines reasoning and cunning, taking advantage of his change of pace that seems to be back that of the pre-Olympic in Belgrade, good.
Paul Biligha 6: he only plays 3 minutes, but not demerit, maybe giving him a few more minutes so as not to squeeze too much Melli would help.
Stefano Tonut 7-: start almost from fear, he looks like a fish out of water, but in the second half he slips a forced shot from the media that gives him conviction and confidence, grows and bites in defense as he hadn’t seen for a while.
Danilo Gallinari 5.5: the class is there, and you can always see it, but behind it it is always one lap behind and with the systematic changes desired by coach Pozzecco it risks unbalancing the team with every action.
Nicolo Melli 7.5: in the first half he keeps the hut standing and also transforms himself into a scorer, in the second he limits himself to doing what he does best: to defend and facilitate, he is the leader of the team.
Simone Fontecchio 8+: now there are no words for the Abruzzese boy, every game is a new step towards a limit that cannot be seen, he is a dominant small forward on this side of the ocean, now he will have the proof of the 9 beyond, to ask himself how some gurus of Italian youth basketball did see him as a play maker …
Giampaolo Ricci 7.5: mr. utility. There is a cut, he does it; you have to take a rebound, take it, raise your elbows, raise them, the drop in intensity in the final is no coincidence that it coincided with its replacement.
Achille Polonara 6: touches the double digits in a game that sees him quite on the sidelines, a good sign of concentration and involvement.
Alessandro Pajola 5: in the first half he looks like a fish out of water, in the second half he shows some glimpses of his own, but he is still behind.
Luigi Datome 5: inserted as a life buoy during the most difficult period it looks more like a bath duck, but with its mileage a break can also take it.