Turkey claimed their first ever European bronze medal at the 2019 Men’s European Championship in Wałbrzych, Poland, after a rousing win 76-65 over Germany.
Germany started well and took an early lead as it took Turkey a while to settle into the game racking up a number of fouls. Germany led by 23-14 at the end of the first.
A 13-0 run for Turkey saw them take the lead for the first time in the game in a quarter they won 23-8, giving them a six-point half-time advantage, 37-31.
The teams exchanged baskets at the start of the third period, but Turkey’s captain Özgür Gürbulak, turned on the form, and Germany struggled to contain the Turkish offensive game as they extended their lead out to seventeen points, 63-46.
Germany rallied in the last quarter bringing the game back to within six points with one minute to play. Aiming to regain possession, Germany sent Turkey to the free-throw line, but Turkey ensured the bronze medal by converting five out of eight free-throws to finish off the game, 76-65.
Aliaksandr Halouski was the game’s top scorer with 26 points, but it was Turkey’s captain who made his presence felt on the game as Özgür Gürbulak had a triple-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.
Turkey’s Ismail Ar said after the game:
“The German team started well and their shooting was crazy, but we came back and matched them and started to also shoot well; we played really well to bring the game back. We really wanted to win this game because this year we are a young team bringing four young players into the team, which makes it a little harder for us but this year we win bronze. It’s my first European bronze in my career, I have silver and gold but first time with bronze. I hope next year in Tokyo we can build on this and medal.”
Both Turkey and Germany had already secured their place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games ahead of the bronze medal game.
Re-watch the 2019 Men’s European Championship bronze medal game
Photo credit: SA Images