29 June, 2021
04 July
6 Cedi Osman (TUR)
Game Report
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Turkey edge Uruguay in back-and-forth thriller

VICTORIA (Canada) - Turkey has the NBA talent and the European pros, but Uruguay punched up and nearly upset the pecking order.

Turkey started hot, weathered Uruguay's second-half rally and held on for a 95-86 win Tuesday in their Olympic Qualifying Tournament opener in Victoria.

Turning point: The final two minutes. Uruguay scored two points and committed two turnovers down the stretch, allowing Turkey to break open a tight game and close it out. Uruguay trailed the entire way until taking its first lead at the 1:55 mark of the third quarter and widened that lead to  eight points early in the fourth. But they went cold in crunch time. Turkey shot 8-for-12 from the floor in the fourth quarter, bookending their hot-shooting first quarter that led to an early 11-point lead.

Game hero: Cedi Osman. Turkey's rising star took over late, scoring 15 of his game-high 27 points during the game's final quarter. His 3-pointer at the 4:04 mark put his team in front for good. Osman also had 9 rebounds and 4 assists. In contention: Jayson Granger sparked Uruguay with a 25-point, 10-assist double-double. The 31-year-old veteran scored 14 points in the third, when Uruguay grabbed their first lead of the game.


Stats don't lie: Turkey had a major advantage at the free-throw line, going 20-of-29 compared to 12-of-15 for Uruguay. Turkey also scored 28 points on 17 Uruguay turnovers.

Bottom line: The best player on the floor came through in the clutch. Osman capitalized from outside, at the rim and completed tough and-1s to lift Turkey to a tense victory in their tournament opener.

They said: "We had a lot of up and downs. We had a great start, we played great basketball in the first quarter, and then we kind of stopped in the second quarter and the second half, too. The big thing for us was that we didn't give up, even when we were down eight points. It was definitely a great job from the team responding to that."  - Turkey's Cedi Osman

"We were believing from the start of the game. We believed the whole game that we could win it. Then it's just basketball and different situations can happen, and I think we just did everything we could." - Uruguay's Santiago Vescovi