It was the higher ranked of the two teams from group B, Turkey, that had the upper hand throughout the first half. With powerhouse players Özgür Gürbulak and Cem Gezinci combining for 30 of Turkey’s 36 first half points, Turkey had jumped out to a fourteen point lead with a 36-22 score by half time.
With leading scorer Mustafa Korkmas restricted to eight points and two assists through the first half, the Netherlands lacked options and shooting accuracy outside of their talismanic forward. Although coming back in the third quarter to challenge Turkey’s total of 18 for the quarter with 16 of their own, the Netherlands team was going to need much more than that to overcome Turkey’s lead.
In the fourth quarter, it was in defence that Turkey’s height came to effect. Restricting the Netherlands’ chances inside the three-point line and giving up a single shot inside the key only in the dying seconds of the match, Turkey marked their opponents well and recorded numerous defensive rebounds.
With a final score of 69-50, Turkey qualified as worthy opponents for Great Britain in the gold medal match. Having led the way for Turkey against the Netherlands and throughout the tournament, Ozgur Gurbalak (triple-double), Cem Gezinci (double-double) and Ferit Gumus (just short of a double-double) will promise a thrilling match up between defending champions Great Britain and the undefeated Turkey.
MVP: Ozgur Gurbalak, TUR