Turkey bounce back, beat USA for first time to win bronze medal
DEBRECEN (Hungary) - Turkey made history by beating United States for the first time in the country's past with an 84-70 win to collect third place at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023 and match their greatest achievement in the competition.
Turkey, who grabbed third place in 2015 as their only previous podium finish, used an 11-2 run late in the third quarter to take a 51-41 cushion. And they never let the Americans get closer than 7 points the rest of the way.
Tan Yildizoglu paced Turkey with 20 points and 8 assists while Berke Buyuktuncel collected 19 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals and Samet Yigitoglu chipped in 10 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Dylan Harper scored 15 points to pace the Americans, who failed to reach the podium for the first time since 2011. USA won the last two editions in 2021 and 2019.
"It's a great honor for us and for our national team and our country. We wanted to beat Spain and make the Final but we got the third place. We are proud of this. And thank you to all the support of the Turkish fans," said the Turkey captain Buyuktuncel.
"This generation has been working together for three or four years and last year they took second place. Now they reached third place at a World Cup, which is very important because we think this generation has great heart," said the Turkish basketball federation CEO Omer Onan.
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FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis: Debrecen delivered a successful tournament
FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis told a press conference on the final day of action that the 2023 U19 World Cup was impressive in many aspects, especially in terms of Debrecen finishing off a third summer of hosting a youth global event after the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2021 and the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022.
"This is the first city worldwide that has delivered three consecutive youth World Cups. This was a bold move from FIBA back in 2019 and perhaps an even bolder move from the (Hungarian) federation and city of Debrecen to undertake these three World Cups, this multi-year hosting model. It’s an experiment that has been very successfully delivered," Zagklis said.
"Youth basketball is one of the eight strategic pillars at FIBA. There is no doubt that we will continue to invest in these tournaments."
Zagklis also gave some figures about media engagement for the tournament, saying: "Without digital figures from the Semi-Finals day we have had more than 20 million digital views which is a record for our purposes. The France-USA Semi-Final had more than half a million views on YouTube. These are very encouraging figures."
- Argentina pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Serbia 87-71 to take fifth place. Lee Aaliya was Argentina's top scorer with 18 points.
- Canada claimed 7th place with a 107-58 victory over Japan with Jordann Dumont netting 21 points.
- Slovenia grabbed three straight wins to close the event and take 9th place with an 85-76 win over China. Jan Zemljic picked up 23 points for the winners.
- Brazil finished the tournament on a high note by knocking off Korea 75-68 for 11th place. Reynan Santos scored 16 points to lead Brazil.
- Egypt took bragging rights for African basketball in defeating Madagascar 104-64 for 13th place. Belal Elshakery had 24 points for the winners.
- Lebanon took 15th place by beating hosts Hungary 73-66 as Karl Chris Zamatta scored 24 points.