Story by KL Chouinard
In Wednesday’s EuroBasket play, Marco Belinelli contributed 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals to Italy’s 71-69 win over Georgia.
Belinelli’s third steal was one of two key defensive stops for Italy in the final minute as a hard-charging Georgia team tried to lock up a berth in the next round. The other pivotal play was Luigi Datome’s win-saving block of a layup right before the buzzer.
With the win, Italy finishes group play with a 3-2 record and a third-place finish in Group B. They will advance to the single-elimination Round of 16 bracket for a game with Finland Saturday in Istanbul.
In other Group B action, Dennis Schröder scored a team-high 26 points, but Lithuania knocked off his Germany team by an 89-72 margin on the strength of the inside play of Jonas Valanciunas (27 points, 15 rebounds) and Donatas Motiejunas (15 points).
Schröder also added 3 assists and 3 steals for a German team that finished group play in second place with a 3-2 record. With their win, Lithuania (4-1) clinched the top spot in Group B.
Germany had already clinched a spot in the Round of 16 in Istanbul. They play France Saturday.
Germany’s results from group play:
Aug. 31, Ukraine, Won 75-63
Sep. 2, Georgia, Won 67-57
Sep. 3, Israel, Lost, 82-80
Sep. 5, Italy, Won, 61-55
Sep. 6, Lithuania, Lost, 89-72
Italy’s results from group play:
Aug. 31, Israel, Won 69-48
Sep. 2, Ukraine, Won, 78-66
Sep. 3, Lithuania, Lost, 78-73
Sep. 5, Germany, Lost, 61-55
Sep. 6, Georgia, Won, 71-69