|11 July 2012|
EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Sabrina Cinili and Italy return to the EuroBasket Women Final Round in 2013 after missing out on the last edition in 2011 in Poland|
Italy clinched first place in Group E of the EuroBasket Women Qualification Round with a 68-61 victory over Greece.
The Azzurre not only won for the sixth time in seven games to win the group, but also knocked the Greeks out of contention for a top-two finish.
That means Greece will not play in next year's EuroBasket Women.
Greece went into the contest with a 4-2 record and led by as many as eight points in the first half.
The Italians scored the last five points of the first half with Sabrina Cinili making two free-throws and Benedetta Bagnara burying a three-ball for a 40-38 lead.
Giorgia Sottana then reeled off the first seven points of the second half and the Italians reeled off 10 in a row for a 50-38 lead.
Greece fought back and twice trimmed the deficit to three points in the last 5:35 but got no closer.
The victory for Italy avenges the costly defeat to the Greeks in the teams' final game of the EuroBasket Women 2009.
In that battle for fifth place, Greece hit back from a double-digit deficit to win and that allowed them to compete at the 2010 World Championship in the Czech Republic.