Italy knock out Serbia to face France in Euro quarter-finals


While promised hell against the Serbian ogre in the quarter-finals of the Euro, the France team will finally find a team there, Italy, which it beat twice during its preparation (78-77 in Bologna, 100-68 in Montpellier). This brutal change of direction came at the end of a match that the Serbs first mastered (+14, 24-38, 13th) before suffering the entry into a trance of the Italians, with the unexpected leader Marco Spissu (19 of his 22 points in the second half) as a detonator.

The real breaking point was the expulsion in the 26th minute, while Serbia was still ahead (57-63), of Italian coach Gianmarco Pozzecco, who had received his first technical foul in the 4th minute. Leaving in tears, the « atomic fly » had to be pushed back by his staff at the final whistle when he wanted to return to the floor, which prohibited him from paying…

Between the two, his players began to rain down three-pointers (16-38) on a stunned Serbian team who were unable to find other solid options than to feed the double NBA MVP Nikola Jokic (32 points, 13 rebounds). Passed in front on three consecutive award-winning baskets from Spissu (66-63, 28th), the Italians pushed their advantage up to +12 (82-70, 35th) on a basket more than eight meters from inside Achille Polonara. Nothing more could happen to them.

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