Italy ends 3-game skid with win over Montenegro, Canada falls to Puerto Rico


After having lost three straight games in three straight days, San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli and the Italian National team used their three days of rest to regroup as they ended their losing streak Thursday with an 89-73 victory over Montenegro in Koper, Slovenia.

Following Italy's victory, Spurs guard Cory Joseph and the Canadian National team also had an exhibition match to play, though their result was not the same as the Italians, as Canada fell to Puerto Rico 78-71 Thursday evening.

Through Italy's 3-game losing streak, Belinelli had trouble putting together a strong game. Thursday was a different result though as Belinelli led Italy with 21 points. The match was close for one half but the Italians created some separation with a 27-point third quarter, while their defense held Montenegro to 17 points.

Later in the evening, Canada and Puerto Rico participated in the 2013 Tuto Marchand Cup as both teams played a close contest throughout, but an 11-point scoring second quarter eventually  stayed as too huge a mountain for the Canadians to climb over.

Joseph finished the game with 6 points (2-of-3 shooting), 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers, and 4 personal fouls in his 18 minutes of play.

Belinelli and Italy will continue preparing for the 2013 Eurobasket Saturday in Koper, Slovenia against Slovenia's National team. Joseph and Canada will prepare for the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament in the Tuto cup with a match against Indiana Pacers forward t Luis Scola and Argentina, who will not have Spurs guard Manu Ginobili this summer on their roster.