Italy Clinches EuroBasket Women 2013 Quarterfinals Spot

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Italy formally booked a spot in the quarterfinals of the EuroLeague Women 2013 after scoring a crucial 58-47 win over Slovak Republic in the second round of the European Championships in France.

Italy and Slovak Republic went toe-to-toe in the first half that ended with them tied at 20 after 20 minutes of tough defensive battles. However, the break took the fight out of Slovak Republic, turning cold at the start of the second half.

The Azzurre took advantage and unleashed a huge 18-4 run to take full control of the match. They never looked back en route to the quarter-final clinching victory.

“It is a very important win for us because we beat a very good team, they had three fantastic games in Vannes and they showed they are a very competitive team. Today it was a very balanced game but our aggressiveness on defense let us break the game in the third quarter. Now we have a lot of confidence and we only have to improve our fluency on offense,” said Italy head coach Roberto Ricchini.

Giorgia Sottana led Italy with 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting including three three-pointers, while Giulia Gatti added nine points and four rebounds, helping Italy improve their record to 2-2 in Group E.

Meanwhile, Spain and Turkey remained undefeated in the group after dispatching their respective opponents on Saturday as well.

The Spaniards leaned on another double-double performance of Sancho Lyttle to take an impressive 66-50 win over Montenegro. Lyttle finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds in a game wherein veteran Amaya Valdemoro made history by having the most appearances for her national team.

On the other hand, Isil Alben scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Yasemin Dalgalar added 11 points to lead Turkey to a lopsided 72-51 win over Sweden, improving their record to 4-0 in Group F.

Spain and Turkey will collide on Monday with the winner taking the top spot in the group heading into the quarterfinals.

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