Tonight begins the last act of the long Legabasket season in which the finalists for the championship Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna face off. They are the two most accredited formations on paper both in terms of budget and roster length, and they are practically complete. Game 1 is played at the Mediolanum Forum in Assago (two ball at 20:45, live Raisport, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport player) between the two most successful teams of the Italian championship. Around noon the shootaround proceeded regularly, Olimpia will communicate the 12 on the field for turnover in the imminence of the tap-off, as usual.
Virtus Bologna arrived in Milan last night.
Roster Olimpia in Race 1: 0 Punter 2 LeDay 9 Moraschini 13 Rodriguez 19 Biligha 20 Cinciarini 23 Delaney 31 Shields 32 Brooks 42 Hines 70 Datome 81 Wojciechowski. Roster Virtus Bologna in full, except Amedeo Tessitori.
1Q – Olimpia with Shields starts. Datome scores from the line and in action 6-0 after 2 ‘. Weems on the line is 2/2, Gamble takes advantage of the size in the area 6-4 after 2’50 “. Weems’ triple with 6’30” is the overtaking 6-7. Milan strength to regain the advantage, Shields signs two free throws. But the host defense rises with two blocks then Weems and Ricci snatch a 0-4 on which Messina takes 8-11 timeout in the 5 ‘.
Punter dribbles and feints, Markovic falls and arrives with 3’42 “a four-point game 12-11. Gamble’s half-hook is a winner, Biligha scores 1/2 in the line where Teodosic scores 2/2 13-15. Exhausted bonuses , Biligha does not finalize an action at 24 seconds, Pajola launches Teodosic who finds the three free players on the poor (because almost innocent) Punter. 2/3 and +4 Virtus with 2’21 “. A few offensive fouls frustrate actions on both sides. Teodosic goes to the low post, drinks Rodriguez and Hines with a 2 + 1 13-20 with 90 seconds. Milan’s reaction is incisive: free for Datome, who stops Abass in the next action. Liber also for Leday, -3. Brooks against Ricci and recovers the ball, Datome for -1. But the Segafredo is there and on the three Ricci siren it restores the 19-23.
2Q – Two free from Leday find Abass’s response: dunk on the counterattack 21-25. Pajola defends as possessed on Rodriguez, who passes to Shields. The Bolognese accepts the change and the American landslide on him: a spectacle, which Messina does not like, timeout with 8’28 “. But when Armani returns cold shower: the triples of Abass and Ricci dig a furrow of 10 points 21-31 with 7’09 “, another Messina timeout. Olimpia does not go from three points (1/7) and is well contrasted in one against one. Datome puts in two with 6’31 “then another two from the average but Belinelli returns and stops the momentum of Gigione, who then cannot stop Gamble, and is still +10 with 5’26”. 1/2 of Hines, then Markovic in low post on Delaney mocking him with the waiter. Hines manages to return to the line (Bologna exhausted bonus) 28-37 with 4’34 “. Three sacrosanct free throws for Delaney on a foul by Gamble is only 1/3. Gamble retaliates with another half-hook. Milan in trouble? Leday, from corner with the triple of -7 and the timeout is by Djordjevic with 3’36 “32-39. On the return 2/2 of Leday to the free, then the Bolognese break caused by Belinelli and Teodosic 0-7 with 1’22 “. Virtus flies to +14, Weems fails the bomb of +17, two free by Brooks and the triple Rodriguez on the siren avoid a heavy passive at Armani 39-48 at 20 ‘.
3Q – Teodosic and the winning attack on iron. Gamble thwarts with a third foul sending Punter with three free throws 42-50 after 50 seconds. Alibegovic places the triple, Djordjevic now wants the couple Milos-Stefan and Weems stretches. hunter and Alibegovic make a wall, the American scores from a loose ball, the counterattack finalized by Alibegovic is a partial 0-9, 42-59 with 6’20 “. Messina timeout. Leday stops the pain with Leday, immediately thwarted by Markovic . Rodriguez takes two free throws 46-61 with 5’18 “while a contested contact between Markovic and Rodriguez ends up under the lens of the inan replay. Nothing, then Abass scores the triple in the face of Datome +18. The inside of Milan scores from three from the corner with 4’07 “. Rodriguz goes into slalom among the Bolognese defenders. Milan, however, does not have three percentages of consistency and does not make good use of three minutes of zero to the shooting of the guests. Alibegovic returns to score with 1’11 “+15 Virtus. Belinelli fails a triple like Rodriguez on the other side in the last minute. Beli remedies a shot in the eye, Teodosic makes 1/2 in the line, Olimpia’s last shot and Hines responds 53-67 in the 30 ‘.
4Q – Djordjevic on the bench tells his men “We are zero to zero”. Hines opens the scoring, as he had just closed them. Teodosic signs his first triple of the evening, Hines misses the place, but Rodriguez puts the bomb with 8’31 “. The Forum raises the volume, but Weems from Hunter’s attack rebound does not hear the whistles 58-72. Shields shortens with two free throws. With 7 ‘at the end, Rodriguez scores from three at 34’ and Leday replies 66-72. Gamble on the line makes 0/2. Gamble commits the fourth foul, Punter enriches the loot for -4. Leday misses the shot of -1, but on the following action Leday himself brings the partial to 12-0, 70-72 with 4’10 “at the end of the match. Djordjevic timeout perhaps too late. The scheme is designed for Beli, but Markovic takes the triple from eight meters +5 Segafredo. The play then takes breakthrough from Rodriguez, and in attack Belinelli adds two 70-77. Punter in the line is 1/2 after the Messina timeout. Fourth foul by Hines, Teodosic free 2/2. Hunter’s fourth foul with 1’42 “. Punter shortens from below. 45-second action by Virtus with Weems in the line and with 1’03” is +8 Bologna, Messina timeout. Shields in the bezel with 38 seconds, 1/2. Triple from Rodriguez with 9.7 for 77-81. The Spaniard immediately sends Teodosic to the free, who is ice age +6. The triple failed by Punter closes the games for Virtus Bologna which returns to storm the Forum after 13 years.
The comment: Virtus pulls out the defense that she hadn’t shown in the past months, enjoys the bad night of three in Milan (8/32) and Messina’s choice to renounce Tarczewski and keep Wojciechowski as upholstery in the stands, leaving moments of advantage to the long felsinei. It is only race 1, which however shows how the predictions are not so obvious. Djordjevic makes almost nothing wrong, perhaps only in the comeback that Rodriguez pushes up to -2 he loses the timing of the timeout call. And an alarm bell for Messina is the weakness of the senators in the last minutes: with seven races at full speed, age could become a factor. Datome was not seen getting off the bench in the last quarter …
Olimpia Milano – Virtus Bologna 77-83 (0-1). Boxscore: 16 Leday and Rodriguez, 15 Datome, 12 Punter, 7p + 10r Hines, 7 Shields, 2 Brooks, 1 Biligha and Delaney for Milan; 19 Teodosic, 15 Weems, 9 Belinelli, 8 Abass, Ricci and Gamble, 7 Markovic and Alibegovic, 2 Hunter for Bologna.