04 - 09
July 2016
8 Danilo Gallinari (ITA)
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Gallinari, Italy need one more win to capture Olympic berth

TURIN (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Danilo Gallinari scored all 15 of his points against Mexico in the first half on Friday night to put the Italians on their way to a resounding victory in the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin.

Now the moment of truth is about to arrive for the Azzurri. Gallinari and Co will square off against Croatia on Saturday night in a battle for a place at the Rio de Janeiro Games, looking to end a 12-year absence from the Olympics.

Gallinari spoke to FIBA.com after the win over the Mexicans.

FIBA.com: It took a while to pull away from Mexico but eventually you did, winning 79-54.
Gallinari: Our defense was on point. Our offense was a little up and down. As long as our defense is like that, we are very happy.

FIBA.com: It was a game of two halves. You had all 15 of your points in the first half and then others stepped up in the second.
Gallinari: Yes, everybody is ready to play. Everybody has the talent to step up and play. We have 12 players and all 12 players can score and so they did a great job in the second half.

FIBA.com: How encouraging is it to go into the Final on the back of a performance like this, especially the second half.
Gallinari: I think it's very encouraging. On offense, we were a little better that what we had one the last few games, so it's very encouraging but it's another story, another game. We have to re-set and think about tomorrow.

FIBA.com: Talking about the depth about the team, Marco Belinelli picked up two fouls but others like Nicolo Melli and Pietro Aradori came in and did well.
Gallinari: I think that's the strength of this team, the depth. And we can come out and defend in any situation and we have to use that tomorrow.

FIBA.com: The crowd was really into tonight.
Gallinari: It was an unbelievable crowd so I guess tomorrow, it's going to be even louder.

FIBA.com: Can you talk about facing Croatia in the Final?
Gallinari: It will be very tough, especially playing against a team that we already played against, so we know each other better. We will prepare the game very carefully.

FIBA.com: What makes them so difficult to face?
Gallinari: I think they have a lot of talent and especially on offense, you cannot predict what they are going to do so you have to play the same defense for 40 minutes, aggressive, because they can come out with different players.