|5||S. GÜLER||Did not play|
|6||B. ERMIS||Did not play|
|5||J. BAREA MORA*||20||3/7||42.9||2/3||66.7||1/4||25||0/1||0||0||4||4||3||4||4||1||0||7|
|7||C. ARROYO||Did not play|
|8||A. VASSALLO COLON*||31||7/15||46.7||2/4||50||5/11||45.5||0/0||0||0||5||5||3||3||2||1||1||19|
|11||R. SANCHEZ ROSA*||13||2/4||50||0/1||0||2/3||66.7||0/0||0||0||0||0||2||1||1||0||0||6|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ANKARA (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Turkey got off to a slow start but a huge run spanning the third and fourth quarters saw them take control of the game and they just about held off Puerto Rico 79-77 to win Group C.
Manolo Cintron’s team led 53-45 with 2:46 to go in the third period, but they were then outscored 26-8 over the next eight minutes.
Hedo Turkoglu capped the spurt with a three-pointer for a 71-61 advantage, Turkey’s first double-digit lead.
Puerto Rico – who went scoreless for more than four minutes in the final frame – rediscovered their shooting touch late on as Angel Vassallo knocked down back-to-back transition threes and Renaldo Balkman dunked the ball with seven seconds to make it a one-point game, 78-77.
Kerem Tunceri was fouled and made one of two free-throws and Vassallo’s last gasp attempt was no good.
With the win, the hosts improved to 4-0 and are assured of finishing with the top spot in the pool regardless of the result in their final game against China in Ankara.
Puerto Rico still stand a chance of moving on to Istanbul if they beat Ivory Coast and China lose to Turkey.
They pulled away first, taking a 12-8 lead on Peter John Ramos’s dunk with 3:50 to go. Turkey scored the next five points to edge in front 13-12 on an Omer Asik free-throw.
Carmelo Lee put the visitors up 16-13 on a breakaway dunk before Omer Onan replied with a three-pointer. The score was tied at 19 after Vassallo and Turkoglu traded long bombs to end the quarter.
The visitors went on a 10-2 run to start the second period to go up 29-21 with 7:49 left in the first half. Nathan Peavy made a great drive on the left baseline and flipped a reverse lay-up high off the glass for a 31-24 advantage.
Cenk Akyol cut the deficit to 31-28 but Balkman had a breakaway dunk and JJ Barea scored in the paint on two occasions to give Puerto Rico a 37-30 lead at the break.
Puerto Rico picked up where they left off on the re-start as Lee buried a three-pointer for the first double-digit lead of the night, 40-30.
Turkoglu made two three-pointers and drove to the basket as part of a 12-5 run that got the hosts within 45-42. However, their opponents answered with an 8-3 spurt capped by Peavy’s fastbreak lay-up for 53-45.
Turkey finished the third period by accounting for 11 of the last 14 points and moved within 57-56 after Semih Erden made two free-throws in the dying seconds.
The hosts opened the fourth quarter with a flurry: Kerem Gonlum converted a three-point play, Ersan Ilyasova knocked down a corner three-pointer, Ender Arslan made a tough floater and Erden had a tip-in to make it a 66-57 game as they seized control for good.
Orhun Ene (Turkey assistant coach): “We have all seen how well Puerto Rico have played in the group. They always display a winning attitude. Today clearly we were lacking and they gave us a very tough contest. The game against Greece was very hard and so we were hesitant and slow to start. We weren’t very smart in the last moments of the game. We should have been better and put ourselves in danger at the end. We need to learn from our mistakes if we want to go far into the tournament.”
Semih Erden (Turkey centre): “Overall we were good at both ends of the floor and we beat a very good team.”
Manolo Cintron (Puerto Rico head coach): “Turkey have had two big wins in the last two nights. I think the start of the third quarter we played well, scoring the first three baskets. It’s a tough loss, but we have one more chance to qualify for the second round on Thursday.”
Nathan Peavy (Puerto Rico forward): “This was a hard-fought game. Turkey are a very good team, structured and discipline. It was a close contest, we put in a good effort but couldn’t push it out at the end. The fans really made their presence felt. We had to stay poised throughout the game.”