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After losing one game in the first group stage both Italy and Puerto Rico were under duress at the start of the second phase. Both teams answered the call and won close matches to keep their quarterfinal chances alive. Now in a direct duel the winner takes it all with whoever comes on top going into the quarterfinals. Will the Italians grind out another win? Can Puerto Rico’s aggressive style prevail? Read our preview to find out.
- Date & Time: Sunday, September 03, 2023, 9 a.m. GMT
- Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum – Manila, Philippines
Italy vs Puerto Rico basketball predictions
- 1 Italy vs Puerto Rico basketball predictions
- 2 Italy vs Puerto Rico preview – who will be celebrating at the buzzer?
- 3 Where to watch Italy vs Puerto Rico on TV/live stream
The Italians continue to win close matches this tournament thanks to their solid defence. Puerto Rico on the other hand have won 3 out of 4 games mainly due to their effective attack. Who will reach the knockouts when these two clashing styles meet? So, we expect a very interesting match and we have some exciting basketball predictions for this game for you:
Prediction 1: Italy under 93.5 total points @ 1/2 (1.50)
Our first Italy vs Puerto Rico prediction is that the Italians won’t score more than 93 points in this match. They are yet to do so in this tournament. The only time Italy even reached 90 points was in their 90-83 win against the second weakest defence of the competition that of the Philippines.
Prediction 2: Simone Fontecchio over 19.5 points @ 3/5 (1.60)
Although they are not scoring much as a team the Italians have a high-volume scorer in their ranks. The Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio is averaging 20.0 points per game in this World Cup. He just scored 30 points on 11 out of 15 shooting vs Serbia to single-handedly keep Italy’s dreams alive.
Full of confidence and in another win-or-go-home scenario match we can expect Fontecchio to be as aggressive as he was against the Serbs. If that is the case he should easily go over the 19.5-point spread.
Italy vs Puerto Rico preview – who will be celebrating at the buzzer?
Now let’s take a closer look at the latest Italy vs Puerto Rico team news ahead of their meeting in the second round at the FIBA World Cup:
Italy news, injuries, and starting lineups
The team’s leading scorer is their only NBA player Simone Fontecchio, but other notable players on this roster are N. Melli, L. Datome, and A. Polonara. Italy lost to the Dominican Republic in the first round but they can still reach the quarterfinals if they beat Puerto Rico now.
All this is thanks to a shocking win against the odds when Italy took on Serbia last Friday. The Italians defended great in that match and found a way to edge it 78-76. Fontecchio scored 30 of Italy’s 78 points.
Italy injury report:
Italy starting lineup:
M. Spissu, S. Tonut, A. Polonara, S. Fontecchio, N. Melli
Puerto Rico news, injuries, and starting lineups
Puerto Rico don’t have NBA players on their roster and yet they score a lot of points. The big star of the team is their point guard Tremont Waters who is averaging 21.8 points and 9.3 assists so far this tournament. George Conditt and Ismael Romero have been very good too, both dominant inside the pain in almost every match played.
Puerto Rico already exceeded expectations by claiming the 2nd spot in their group. The crucial game for the Puerto Ricans was their first match of the tournament against South Sudan. The dramatic duel was eventually won by Puerto Rico 101-96 after overtime and this was why they progressed.
The other win was against the weak Chinese team, scored 107 in that match, but in the one match against a serious contender the going was rough and Puerto Rico lost 77-94 vs Serbia.
The big dream was kept alive at the start of the second phase on Friday with an unexpected 102-97 win against their regional rivals the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico shot 42.3% from beyond the arc as a team in this match (11 out of 26) and this was why they won.
From now on everything that happens will be a bonus for the Puerto Ricans and they are not under any huge pressure. Still, a win takes them to the quarterfinals so they are bound to be excited.
Puerto Rico injury report:
Puerto Rico starting lineup:
G. Conditt, I. Romero, S. Thompson Jr, J. Howard, T. Waters
Where to watch Italy vs Puerto Rico on TV/live stream
If you live in the UK, all FIBA World Cup matches are available on FIBA’s streaming service Courtside 1891. Meanwhile, in the United States and Puerto Rico, the World Cup is shown on ESPN2 and ESPN+.
Italians can see their team on DAZN and Rai2.
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