Basketball, Super Cup at Virtus Bologna: Olimpia Milano beaten in the final 90-84

Basketball, Super Cup at Virtus Bologna: Olimpia Milano beaten in the final 90-84
Basketball, Super Cup at Virtus Bologna: Olimpia Milano beaten in the final 90-84

AX Armani Exchange Milan-Virtus Segafredo Bologna 84-90

UNIPOL ARENA (Casalecchio di Reno, BO) – Eight consecutive lost finals, 26 years of waiting. Virtus Bologna breaks an atavistic curse by enriching the showcase with the second Super Cup in history, now alongside the trophy of the first absolute edition, the one won in the distant past 1995 against Treviso on this same field, at the time branded PalaMalaguti. Although basketball is still in September, with all the circumstances of a season that officially began only four days ago for the two finalists, the message is clear: the balance of power dictated by the June championship series has not changed. Indeed, despite the changes to the roster, there are many points in common with that 4-0 with which Virtus has returned to sew the shield on the chest after twenty years of abstinence.

Virtus Bologna triumphs and regains the title after 25 years

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Super Cup, Highlights: Olimpia Milano-Virtus Bologna 84-90

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The serious injury that removed Ekpe Udoh after a handful of minutes on his debut against Tortona does not seem to have affected the emotional sphere of the team. On the contrary, the Virtus has come out even more compact and charged, first bending the resistance of the Umana Reyer Venezia in a physical semifinal with a clear defensive tone, and then suffocating Olimpia in a final that clearly expressed two concepts: 1) defense will still be the main strength of Scariolo’s Bologna, within a growing spiral with respect to the excellent work already done by Sasha Djordjevic, and 2) Milan, chipped in its core last season from the farewells of Kevin Punter and Zach LeDay, has not yet found offensive balance and fluidity to buffer the quality and productivity lost around the perimeter.

Teodosic behind his back for Jaiteh’s basket

Mouhammadou Jaiteh is the ring in the evening. Not so much for the double-double touched by 18 points and 9 rebounds, important but almost expected by a player who has always had an impact in the offensive meta, but above all for what he did under his own basket, there, to support a deadly and suffocating defense. The true MVP, however, it is Alessandro Pajola (14 points, 7 assists), extraordinary in managing the team alongside a Milos Teodosic more and more inspired after the muted start against Tortona (9 points, 6 assists, +15 plus / minus), poisonous in marking the ball and lethal with a couple of plays of great character in the final, essential to reject the last desperate assault of Olimpia, returned from the landslide of -17 suffered in the third quarter until possession to return to -3.

As seen in previous games of the Final Eight, the work of Kyle Weems (10) in the role of two-way player, very solid on both meta fields and capable of holding up also from 4 tactician when Scariolo plays the card of the small quintet, as well as that of Amar Alibegovic, infallible with that hooked movement from post-up to centroarea, a real hyper-productive wildcard caught off the bench.

Awudu Abass takes flight and posterizes Mitoglou

Yes, because Milan, which seemed to have discovered a new internal dimension in the semi-final victory against Brindisi, on the other hand it suffers in the varnished, conceding so much in one’s own meta field (61% from two for Virtus) and struggling to trigger Nik Melli (10 + 10 rebounds) e Tell us Mitoglou (8 + 4), started very strong in the counterbreak that absorbed the initial outburst of Juventus but then quickly lost himself in the folds of the match. Blunt and soft-bellied, Olimpia is forced to chase immediately, losing contact between the two central quarters, where the attack tends to stagnate as in the defeats of the championship final.

Ideas are confused, ball circulation is slow and predictable, and the insulation of the exteriors take over: the danger from the arch, with those percentages that rose only in the last quarter to the final 11/28, is still clearly affected Kevin Punter’s farewell, despite the heroics of Sergio Rodriguez (17 + 5 assists) and the huge amount of balls played by Shavon Shields (19), held back in that strange middle ground between the deleterious and the productive. With Gigi Datome (0) e Malcolm Delaney still clearly delayed in condition and mental serenity, the most interesting sparks perhaps still come from Devon Hall, now able to add offensive danger to the great obscure sacrificial work in his own metacampo (13 + 6 rebounds).

Perla di Rodriguez who sends to crush Melli

  • Olimpia Milan: Delaney 8, Shields 19, Datome, Melli 10, Hines 4; Moraschini, Hall 13, Ricci 3, Mitoglou 8, Alviti 2, Rodriguez 17. Ne: Biligha. All .: Messina.
  • Virtus Bologna: Pajola 14, Belinelli 9, Weems 10, Hervey 4, Jaiteh 18; Alibegovic 13, Teodosic 9, Abass 6, Alexander 7, Tessitori. Ne: Barbieri, Ruzzier. All .: Scariolo.

Super Cup, Highlights: Olimpia Milano-Virtus Bologna 84-90

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