Turkey stay hot, beat Czech Republic to advance to OQT Semi-Finals
VICTORIA (Canada) - What started as a physical, low-scoring game eventually turned Turkey's way.
Turkey outscored the Czech Republic in each quarter and slowly broke away for an 87-70 win Wednesday, improving to 2-0 at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and punching their ticket to the Semi-Finals.
Turning point: Turkey's timeout with 3:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Czech Republic were within 10 points at that mark and cut their deficit to eight points earlier in the quarter, but Turkey turned it on after the timeout. Ersan Ilyasova made a layup and a 3-pointer, Melih Mahmutoglu converted a layup off a turnover and Furkan Korkmaz added a layup to spearhead Turkey's 9-0 run that increased their lead to 19 points.
Game hero: Korkmaz. Turkey's sharpshooter scored a game-high 20 points and shot 4-of-8 on 3-pointers. In contention: Jan Vesely led the Czech Republic with 13 points and 11 rebounds as teammate Tomas Satoransky added 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Cedi Osman chipped in 11 points and 6 assists for Turkey.
"What a move!" @FurkanKorkmaz 🇹🇷 is on 🔥 with 15 pts at the half! @TBF— FIBA (@FIBA) July 1, 2021
📺: https://t.co/xAxAYYWeO5 pic.twitter.com/m7eAMu1ZcV
Stats don't lie: The Czech Republic pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, but they only led to 12 second-chance points. They also committed 15 turnovers and struggled from deep, shooting 6-of-23 (26.1 percent).
Bottom line: Turkey is a contender to win the tournament. In their two victories, they've made 52.8 percent of their shots and 46.9 percent of their shots beyond the arc. With Osman, Korkmaz, Ilyasova and other capable scorers, opponents can't lock in on one player.
They said: "Today, starting from the beginning to the end, we controlled the game. We controlled the tempo of the game. Defensively, we reacted very well." - Turkey coach Orhun Ene
"We had good moments, we had ups and downs during the game. In the end, we made too many turnovers and it cost us easy baskets on the other side." - Czech Republic coach Ronen Ginzburg