Fontecchio, Melli power Italy over Ukraine on Gallinari's historical night

2022-08-24 17:38

Ukraine didn't manage to celebrate their Independence Day with a win against Italy, as Pozzecco's squad got 20 points from Simone Fontecchio and captured their 4th victory in the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers. 

Credit: FIBA Media
Credit FIBA Media

On a night when Danilo Gallinari reached 1000 points scored with the Italian national team, guests Italy (4-1) downed Ukraine (1-4) 97-89 (19-19, 15-26, 38-22, 25-22) in Riga, Latvia, for the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers. 

The team coached by Gianmarco Pozzecco was down by 11 (34-45) in the first half, but picked it up in the third quarter off the back of a partial score of 38-22 and didn't face any significant hardships until the end of the game. 

Simone Fontecchio added another great performance with 20 points and 10/11 free throws, while Nicolo Melli had 17 points and 6 rebounds. Nico Mannion was held down to 2/10 from the field, but made it up with 11 points and 9 assists.

Stefano Tonut scored 10 points and helped defensively, whereas Gallinari didn't play in the last five minutes due to a minor injury. 

Credit FIBA Media

As was the case in their last official game to date, against Spain in Riga, Ukraine had the chance to pull off an upset, but their poor defensive showing didn't allow them to aim higher. 

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk took 19 shot attempts to score only 11 points, while Artem Pustovyi chipped in with 10 points. 

Italy are hosting Georgia on Saturday night (20:30 CET), while Ukraine play Island on the road the same day (22:00 CET).

Ukraine: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk 11 (5/19 FG, 1/1 FT), Artem Pustovyi 10 (5/6 FG), Volodymyr Herun 10 (4/8 FG, 7 REB), Issuf Sanon 8.

Italy: Simone Fontecchio 20 (4/10 FG, 10/11 FT), Nicolo Melli 17 (6/9 FG, 4/5 FT, 6 REB), Nico Mannion 11 (2/10 FG, 4 REB, 9 AST), Stefano Tonut 11 (5/10 FG, 4 REB), Danilo Gallinari 10.

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