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Italy romps Dominican Republic to enter OQT final

Simone Fontecchio led Italy to the FIBA Belgrade OQT final. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Italy booked the first berth in the final of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament after downing Dominican Republic, 79-59, in their knockout semifinal on Saturday at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade.

The Italians went on a cruise control against the Dominicans from the get-go, and the former pulled away for good after a 17-0 blast highlighted a 24-8 third quarter dominance.

Simone Fontecchio made 17 points on a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown, five rebounds, three assists, and one block for Italy, which will face the winner of the Serbia-Puerto Rico on Sunday for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.

Stefano Tonut added 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, one rebound, and three assists.

Brandone Francis led Dominican Republic with 12 markers, three boards, one dime, and two steals.

Box Scores:

Italy 79-Fontecchio 17, Tonut 14, Polonara 9, Mannion 8, Vitali 8, Pajola 6, Melli 5, Spissu 3, Abass 3, Tessitori 2, Ricci 2, Moraschini 2

Dominican Republic 59-Francis 12, Henriquez 10, Solano 6, Torres 6, Mendoza 4, Liz 4, Feliz 4, Araujo 4, Santos 4, Rojas 2, Nunez 0

Quarterscores: 22-14, 42-30, 66-38, 79-59

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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