Dutch delight as Kloof leads upset win in Turkey
ANKARA (Turkey) - Charlon Kloof had the keys to unlock Turkey's fortress of Ankara after leading Netherlands to an impressive 72-65 success at the start of the FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers.
Turkey had been perfect in the city during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers, but now found themselves playing catch-up in Group D after the opening defeat.
Turning Point: Neither side led by more than seven points in a gripping encounter. Melih Mahmutoglu fired in his fourth three-pointer to put the hosts 60-58 ahead inside final five minutes. However, there was an instant reply at the other end to instigate an 11-2 run that would prove decisive as the Netherlands timed their move to perfection.
Game Hero: Charlon Kloof. The 29-year-old wasn't fazed by the atmosphere in Ankara, probably because he plays his club basketball in the Turkish capital. Five triples highlighted a 27-point display along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in a big win for his side.
Stats Don't Lie: Turkey struggled to find their range from beyond the arc. Take away Mahmutoglu's four makes, and it leaves the home side reeling at a combined 2-of-15, while the Netherlands knocked down nine - and at key times, too.
Bottom Line: The result definitely opens up the group with the Netherlands taking a lot of confidence into their home encounter with Croatia on Monday. Back to the drawing board for Turkey with an immediate response needed when they head to Sweden; 0-2 is unthinkable.