Eurobasket 2009: Israel defeats Italy

Itlay loses 72-77 in Bormio on Sunday night first warm-up game ahead of the start of EuroBasket 2009 qualifier.

Israel defeated Italy 77-72 in Bormio on Sunday night in its first warm-up game ahead of the start of the EuroBasket 2009 qualifying campaign. The blue-and-white, which only began training last Wednesday, will face Great Britain at the Nokia Arena on September 3 in its first European Championship qualifier. Guy Pnini scored 21 points for Israel on Sunday, with Amit Tamir adding 12 points and five rebounds. Dror Hagag didn't travel with the team to Italy after asking for a release from the team, but Lior Eliyahu took part in Sunday's game and scored eight points. "We recorded a good victory over a strong and aggressive Italian side," coach Tzvika Sherf said. "I'm happy that we met our goal of not using any player for more than 20 minutes. This is just our first warm-up game and we still have plenty of work ahead of us." Israel will take part in a tournament with Italy, France and Poland over the coming weekend.