Italy defeats Spain in overtime to close 2nd round at Eurobasket


After falling in their previous two games of the second round at the 2013 FIBA Eurobasket Championship, the Italian National team had one game remaining in round two before beginning the Quarter-Finals later this week.

Monday after four quarters and an overtime period, the Italians defeated Spain 86-81 to prevent themselves from heading into the Quarter-Finals on a 3-game losing streak. In the victory, San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds while shooting 6-of-14 from the field in his 35 minutes of play.

Spain was led by Memphis Grizzlies forward Marc Gasol who played 37 minutes in the match and provided 32 points and 10 rebounds. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio played just 16 minutes in the match on Monday.

With the win, Italy finishes the second round in third place in Group F with 8 points. The Quarter-Finals are considered the 'Elite 8' of Eurobasket as Serbia, Spain, Slovenia, France, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Italy will battle beginning Wednesday for a right to advance in the tournament. 

Belinelli and Italy will face Lithuania on Thursday in the Quarter-Finals. Belinelli's Spurs teammates Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Nando De Colo will face Slovenia on Wednesday with the French National team. Through seven games at Eurobasket, Belinelli is Italy's second leading scorer as he's averaging 14.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 31.6 minutes per game.