Italy romps Dominican Republic to enter OQT final

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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