Earlier today at the South Korean hosted 2014 IWBF men’s wheelchair basketball world championships, Italy scored a historic 54 – 41 win over the United States. It was the first time the team had ever beaten the American team.
The Italian team led the whole game, taking a one point lead into the end of the first quarter. During the second quarter, they outscored Team USA 14 – 7 to end the half 28 – 20. They again outscored the Americans 13 – 9, ending the period 41 – 29. In the final period, they narrowly outscored the USA 13 – 12.
4.5 point player Galliano Marchionni led the Italian side in scoring with 14 points. Teammate 4 point player Stefano Rossetti was also in double digit point land with 11. In contrast, not a single American player was in double digits. The USA’s leading scorer was 3 point player Michael Paye, who scored 8 points.
Rossetti led the game in total rebounds, with 14. 13 of these came on the defensive side of the ball. Marchionni also did a good job rebounding, collecting 9 with 8 coming on the defensive side. Italian 1.5 point player Ahmed Raourahi’s 7 rebounds, 4 defensive and 3 offensive, also surpassed the best individual total put up by an American player, 6 collected by Steven Serio.
Following the game, Italian national team coach Dionigi Cappelletti was quoted by Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro in Carrozzina as saying:
I am very happy because the boys deserve a joy as well. We were really good, do I have a group of players, but also a technical staff overtime, from my two deputy Roberto and Marco Ceriscioli Bergna until the athletic trainer and the medical staff, not to mention a federation that is doing everything possible to put us in a position ideals in order to get results. But we must now return focused because we have not yet done nothing: we reason from day to day, game to game; at the end of this second round will raise our head and we’ll see where we are.
The first stage of group play ended yesterday, with the bottom team in each group being eliminated. The remaining teams were put into two groups of six and one group of four. Italy is schedule to play Colombia tomorrow, while the United States is scheduled to take on undefeated Australia.