Italy, high stakes with Ukraine: Pozzecco’s 12

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Azzurri called to win to get off to the best start in the second qualifying phase.

Two crucial points on the way to the 2023 World Cup. The stakes in Riga tomorrow, August 24, are very high indeed for Italy, which is called to win against Ukraine (5:30 p.m. Italian time, 6:30 p.m. local time, live ELEVEN and Sky Sport) to better start the second qualifying phase for next year’s World Cup in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Gianmarco Pozzecco chose today, after the training session, the 12 Azzurri who will take the court in Riga: Amedeo Tessitori will not be part of the roster, who will however remain at the disposal of the technical staff.

“From Pinzolo,” said the CT, “we are working to play the games that count. We respect Ukraine for basketball reasons and not only. Against Slovenia they played a very good game losing by a few points, and for sure in Riga an easy game does not await us. But above all I have great respect for my players, who could be elsewhere resting or having a good time and instead are gathering in Brescia for the sole pleasure of wearing the Maglia Azzurra after a long and tiring year with clubs. Among them a special mention for Gigi Datome, a real man and Captain with a capital C towards whom I have unconditional esteem. Tomorrow Tessitori will not be on the scoreboard but these are my 13 men, the ones I have chosen and will defend as I have always done with all the guys I have coached.”

After finishing top of the group in the first phase ahead of Iceland and the Netherlands (Russia disqualified), the Azzurri start as first in Group L, also formed by Spain, Georgia and Ukraine. Of the six starting lineups, three will break out the world pass. Over the course of the next three ‘windows’ Italy will meet only previously uncrossed formations, namely those of Spain, Georgia and Ukraine. On August 27 at the PalaLeonessa in Brescia the match against Georgia (8:30 p.m., live ELEVEN and Sky Sports).

The Azzurri will cross paths with Ukraine again on Sept. 5 in the third game of EuroBasket 2022 round C at the Forum in Milan (9 p.m.).

The 12 Azzurri for Ukraine.
#0 Marco Spissu (1995, 184, P, Umana Reyer Venezia)
#1 Niccolo Mannion (2001, 190, P, Segafredo Virtus Bologna)
#6 Paul Biligha (1990, 200, C, A|X Armani Exchange Milano)
#7 Stefano Tonut (1993, 194, G, A|X Armani Exchange Milano)
#8 Danilo Gallinari (1988, 208, A, Boston Celtics – NBA)
#9 Nicolò Melli (1991, 206, A, A|X Armani Exchange Milano)
#13 Simone Fontecchio (1995, 203, A, Utah Jazz – NBA)
#17 Giampaolo Ricci (1991, 202, A, A|X Armani Exchange Milano)
#25 Tommaso Baldasso (1998, 192, P, A|X Armani Exchange Milano)
#33 Achille Polonara (1991, 205, A, Anadolu Efes Istanbul – Turkey)
#54 Alessandro Pajola (1999, 194, P, Segafredo Virtus Bologna)
#70 Luigi Datome (1987, 203, A, A|X Armani Exchange Milano)

#16 Amedeo Tessitori (1994, 208, C, Umana Reyer Venezia)

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