It happened again.
On Wednesday, Andrea Bargnani led Italy with 21 points in a tough match-up for big stakes .... but his opposite number, Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania (and Toronto) scored 26 and grabbed 15 boards. Italy lost.
On Thursday, Andrea Bargnani led tialy with 21 points in a tough match-up for big stakes ... but his opposite number, Jan Veseley of the Czech Republic (formerly of Washington) scored 26 points and grabbed 12 boards. This time, Italy won.
Here's Bargnani's highlights...
Heck, the opposing centers are both in their early 20's and have the initials J.V.! Pretty weird. it's also got to be just a little concerning for the Nets, who had to know what a bad defender he is. The one saving grace, as we've noted, is that while Bargnani is a terrible defender and a poor rebounder, he can score and is healthy.
The stakes for Italy were high. By winning they automatically qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer in hopes of making the final cutdown for Rio. Overall, they finished sixth in Eurobasket and Bargnani is now free to return home and head for New York.
- Big Third Quarter Lifts Italy Over Czechs (Video) - Eurobasket