Paris 2024: At the pre-Olympic Italbasket loses to Puerto Rico. Tomorrow semi-final against Lithuania


By John

Italy will face tough Lithuania in the semifinal of the qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The semifinal, which is worth access to the final, where only the winning team will obtain the pass to the five rings, is scheduled for tomorrow at 22:00 Italian time. In the Italian night, the Azzurri were defeated by Puerto Rico by 80 to 69. On the parquet of the ‘Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot’ in San Juan, the team of the technical commissioner Gianmarco Pozzecco paid for a drop in condition in the fourth quarter, suffering a partial of 23 to 12. The best player of Italy, Danilo Gallinari with 14 points but left early due to a knee strain. Eleven points scored by Niccolò Mannion. The Puerto Rican Jose Alvarado was amazing, able to score 29 points (21 in the second half) under the eyes of 12,519 spectators present in the stands.

“I want to congratulate Puerto Rico for the great game and the incredible atmosphere we found in the arena. Our opponents deserved to win and I have nothing to reproach my boys for showing their usual attitude and commitment.” These are the words of the technical commissioner of the Italian basketball team, Gianmarco Pozzecco at the end of the second qualifying match for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “We didn’t move the ball around like we usually do and at times we were a bit in a hurry, missing some open shots,” added Pozzecco. “Puerto Rico, with Alvarado and Clavell, made incredible three-point shots. Now we want to win the semifinal against Lithuania, a great team, and play against Puerto Rico again.” It had been 60 years, since 1964 after 13 consecutive defeats, that Puerto Rico had not beaten Italy.