Turkey clinch ticket to final 16 in EuroBasket 2017

Youngsters take over in last 5 minutes for Turkey to beat Belgium 78-65, advance from Group D

Anadolu Agency

Turkey defeated Belgium 78-65 at Istanbul's Ulker Sports Arena on Monday evening to book a ticket to the final 16 in EuroBasket 2017.

The match started swimmingly for Turkey as they led the first quarter 23-14. Belgium, however made several comebacks during the game to even the score.

In the second quarter, Turkey was up 40-26 with 3.30 left to go, but Belgium pushed the score to 40-33, narrowing the deficit to only seven.

The third quarter was a nightmare for Turkey, as the team only found 15 points and the lead was only two, 55-53.

Turkey managed to made a 12-0 run at the end of the fourth quarter, thanks to young guards Furkan Korkmaz and Cedi Osman and experienced shooting guard Melih Mahmutoglu.

Turkey's team, made up of youngsters coming into the competition, managed to defeat Great Britain and Belgium but lost to Serbia and Russia, as it was unable to come up big in the matches' last minutes.

The win gave Turkey a ticket to the final 16, and the team will play against Latvia on Thursday to finish third in Group D.

Korkmaz scored a game-high 14, and Mahmutoglu and center Semih Erden both added 12 points to the victory.

Belgium and Great Britain were both eliminated.

The competition started on Aug. 31 and will end on Sept. 17. Turkey is one of the host nations in group stages, and Istanbul will also be the venue in the later stages as well.