Italy prove too powerful for Angola at FIBA World Cup
Eduardo Mingas (C) of Angola breaks through under the pressure of Paul Biligha (R) of Italy during the group D match between Italy and Angola at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Foshan, south China's Guangdong Province, on Sept. 2, 2019. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
Daniel Hackett (C) of Italy breaks through during the group D match between Italy and Angola at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Foshan, south China's Guangdong Province, on Sept. 2, 2019. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
FOSHAN, China, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Italy did a routine job to beat Angola 92-61 for the second straight victory in Group D at the FIBA Basketball World Cup here on Monday.
After trouncing the Philippines by 46 points to commence the campaign on Saturday, Italy duly took away the win through their balanced offense as Marco Belinelli scored 17 points to lead the way.
"Everybody was aggressive in offense and defense. We played two good quarters, but in the third and fourth quarters we could do much better. But what's important for us is to win the game and be ready for the next one," Belinelli said at the press conference.
Following an 8-all tie to start the match, Italy rode on a 12-2 spurt midway through the first period to erect a double-digit lead. Only making 1 of 6 behind the arc along with six turnovers, Angola were troubled at 11-25 behind as the quarter ran out.
A pair of free throws from Leonel Paulo concluded the scoring drought in almost five minutes for Angola, who found themselves already trail by over 20 points late in the second quarter. Angola's struggle outside the paint lingered, and Italy established a 44-21 lead before the break.
Going 59-28 up with 5:13 remaining in the third period, Italy were well beyond the striking distance for their African opponents.
"I want to be aggressive all the time, create something for my teammates, be a part of this team, and try to do everything that the team needs to win the game," Belinelli pointed out.
Italy will face Serbia, top-positioned team on the tournament's Power Rankings, on Wednesday.
For Belinelli, "The next game is a big game. Serbia is the best team in the tournament, but we are not scared of them. We just need to prepare the game well, be ready to play our basketball and be aggressive."
"In these two games we have achieved our goal," commented Italy's head coach Meo Sacchetti, while admitting that "the next game is a tough game."
Yanick Moreira top-scored for Angola with 15 points. Paulo and Carlos Morais added 12 and 10 respectively.
Angola coach William Voigt said, "I thought we competed better today but it's really hard. We gave up too many points off turnovers."
Later on Monday, Serbia also expect to continue their triumphant journey in China against the Philippines.