Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Italy pulled an upset by defeating Serbia 102-95 (28-22, 29-23, 23-18, 22-32) to earn an invitation to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The victory continued the trend of all Olympic Qualifying Tournaments - none was won by the tournament hosts nation.

Player of the Game
Achille  Polonara
EFF
28
Achille Polonara
Points 22
Accuracy 7-10
Rebounds 12
Assists 2

Italy started the first quarter strong, once again thanks mainly to the performances of Simone Fontecchio and Nicolo Mannion. Serbia began the game without Micic and Teodosic in the starting lineup but once they got on the court the situation changed, with Serbia being able to score 8 points in a row. Petrusev gave also a strong contribution off the bench with 6 points. At the end of the first quarter, Italy was up by 6 points.

Italy continued to shine from 3-point range in the second quarter, with Pajola, Polonara, and Fontecchio gunning with confidence. Serbia's lack of pressure on the perimeter didn't pay and forced Igor Kokoskov's team to go in the locker room with a 12-point deficit. Danilo Andjusic was the only real scorer for Serbia in the first half with 11 points, all made in the second quarter. 

Italy kept following their game plan in the second half: shooting with very high percentages from the distance and putting a lot of pressure on Serbian ballhandlers. Serbia, especially in the first half of the third quarter, looked a little bit lost, with very limited energies and a lack of urgency that brought the team to their lowest point, falling behind by 24 points. In the final two minutes of the quarter, Serbia cut down the lead, showing a much different intensity and using the magic of Milos Teodosic and the shooting abilities of Danilo Andjusic.

Serbia didn't use Micic at all in the final quarter, a signal that his physical condition wasn't at the top. They tried to ride mostly Andjusic and Petrusev, who were the only ones to really provide an offensive contribution. But despite a comeback in the end Italy was able to keep the lead. Mannion didn't blink in the final seconds, making all his free throws. The Serbian NT, in the end, didn't have enough energy to match Italy. 

Nico Mannion was the top scorer for Italy with 24 points and 4 assists. Polonara made another superb performance with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 assists. At the end of the game, he was named MVP of the tournament.

Andjusic was the top scorer of the game with 27 points, Petrusev had a big contribution coming off the bench with 22 points and 5 rebounds.

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Serbijos rinktinė
Italijos rinktinė
49%
29/59
Field goals
45%
34/76
36
Rebounds
39
23
Assists
17
5
Steals
7
11
Turnovers
8
34%
11/32
3-pointers
41%
14/34

Best players

Danilo  Andjusic
27 PTS
9/14 FG
2/2 FT
Nico  Mannion
24 PTS
7/17 FG
9/9 FT
Nikola  Kalinic
6 REB
5 DREB
1 OREB
Achille  Polonara
12 REB
9 DREB
3 OREB
Serbia
Few players
5 As
Alessandro  Pajola
6 As
1 TO
21 MIN
Filip  Petrusev
29 EFF
100% 2P%
0% 3P%
Achille  Polonara
28 EFF
50% 2P%
75% 3P%