HAMAMATSU (FIBA World Championship
) –Turkey’s dream run at the FIBA World Championship continued on Tuesday in Group C with a gritty 73-71 triumph over Brazil in Hamamatsu.
The South Americans, having split their first two games, are now in serious danger of missing out on a top f our finish with games against red-hot Greece, and Lithuania still to play.
Brazil trailed by as many as 12 points but fought bravely, had the lead in the third and fourth but lost with poor free throw shooting proving their undoing.
Leandro Barbosa, the game’s leading scorer with 26 points, had a chance to give Brazil a 71-70 lead with five seconds remaining when he drove into the lane and was fouled by Ersan Ilyasova.
Turkey coach Bogdan Tanjevic called two timeouts in succession in a bid to make Barbosa, who had made eight of 14 at the charity stripe up to that point, miss.
The strategy worked because Barbosa failed on each attempt and Turkey rebounded.
Brazil had to foul Ermal Kurtoglu to stop the clock and the Efes Pilsen power forward sank both attempts with four seconds left.
Instead of letting Brazil have a chance at a game-tying three-pointer, Turkey fouled Marcelinho.
The swingman made the first and attempted to miss the second so the Brazilians could try and grab an offensive rebound, however, he banked that free throw in.
Brazil fouled again and with just 1.8 seconds left, Ender Arslan sank one of two for the 73-71 lead.
Anderson Varejao grabbed the miss and heaved the ball towards the Brazil basket but he was short with his throw and Turkey celebrated again.
Turkey kept pace with Greece with their third successive win and have a chance of finishing top of the group.
"This game was a little bit tougher than the other games," said Serkan Erdogan, Turkey’s leading scorer with 21 points on the night. “The referees allowed both teams to play tough basketball.
“Sometimes it’s not good for good basketball and this is a very hard game for both teams. I’m very happy that we won, though.
“Now we are in very good position to finish first. Turkey and Greece play the final game.”
Despite Barbosa driving Brazil forward with a series of lay-ups and penetrating moves, Turkey led 37-28 midway through the second quarter and they were still in front at 43-37 at half-time.
Brazil stormed back took the lead at 55-54 when Barbosa split two at the line with 1:24 to go in the third quarter.
Marcelinho’s three-pointer gave Brazil a 58-56 lead at the end of the period.
Anderson then made a jump shot with 8:33 left and the Brazilians looked to be hitting top gear.
Marcelo Huertas then had his shot blocked by Kaya Peker with 7:25 remaining and was hit with a technical foul for shouting at Peker.
Ibrahim Kutluay made both free throws to reduce the arrears, and then Erdogan struck with a three-pointer to put Turkey back in front at 61-60.
Turkey went up by four, but a fast-break lay-up by Marcelinho and a reverse lay-up by Alex Garcia tied the contest at 64-64 with 4:14 to play.
Engin Atsur, given a chance to play much of the game on Tuesday after not receiving any time in the first two contests, made one off two from the stripe before Alex Garcia tied the game at 65-65 with a free throw.
Kutluay put his team into the lead for good at 67-65 with a jump shot with 2:33 to go.
The game remained close until the end, when Barbosa had a chance at the foul line but he mis-fired with both and Turkey held on.
Brazil finished 23 of 37 (62% ) at the line, and Turkey were not much better at 65% (11 of 17).
Barbosa and Co also struggled from long range, making just two of 17 attempts while Turkey were 10 of 24.
Brazil did force Turkey into 21 turnovers.
“We’ve got to keep our heads up and think about the next game,” said Marcelinho.
Brazil coach Lula Ferreira isn’t giving up.
"Obviously, it was a tough game," he said.
"We had good and bad moments. Turkey finished very well, and we had a chance to win the game ... we have to fight in the next two games and win them if we want to qualify." By Jeff Taylor