Basketball playoffs, Virtus Bologna is saved against Venezia

Despite the enormous scare, Virtus Segafredo Bologna is one step away from the Scudetto final. This time the hero is called Isaïa Cordinier: a handful of seconds from the end, at -1, the Frenchman suffers a breakthrough and scores the two free throws in the 79-78 victory against Umana Venezia. An important performance also from Marco Belinelli (14 points with 4/6 threes, all in the first half) but Bologna, as in game 1, threw away a 22 point lead and was even overtaken in the final by Parks (14 points), helped by Tucker (13). Coach Luca Banchi’s team, at 2-0 in the series, cannot however rest assured given the two comebacks only missed by Reyer, who in game 3 (Wednesday at 8.45pm) and game 4 will have the field factor on his side. Meanwhile, tomorrow (Monday) at the Forum, game 2 will be played between Ea7 Milano and Germani Brescia, with Olimpia ahead 1-0.

the match

Coach Spahija has to call time out after 1 and a half minutes because Virtus is suffocating her. The double-digit lead comes soon thanks to a triple from Pajola. Reyer never scores except with Tessitori (alone under the basket given the absence of Kabengele), also because Tucker (2 points in game 1) does not receive balls. On the contrary, whatever man coach Luca Banchi sends onto the parquet manages to impact the match. In the 10th minute, 8 different players have already scored. Only 6 consecutive points from Heidegger eased Venice’s deficit (28-15) at the first break. The only 9 points from the field, however, illustrate the difficulties well. Reyer continues to suffer in attack even in the second quarter, but grows in defense and prepares the ground for the comeback. She was postponed because Belinelli was a phenomenon with four triples. It’s thanks to him that Bologna closes 47-30 in the 20th minute.

another comeback

At the beginning of the third quarter Bologna reaches +22 with Abass, then goes out suffering from the very physical quintet of Reyer, who strikes with Tucker, De Nicolao and Simms. When Shengelia also sits on the bench with 4 fouls (the fifth will arrive shortly after) everything reopens. Venezia first finds -7 (62-55) with Tucker, finally in the game, and Simms, winning the third period 27-17. Then he rides the moment of confidence and reaches -4 in the 35th minute. They are compact in defense, so much so that Virtus is unable to find alternatives in attack to Belinelli’s exits and experiences déjà vu when Casarin’s triple writes 72-70 on the scoreboard. The Spissu-Parks axis then produces the first guest overtaking (73-74). Everything is decided at the end. With 37″ to go Hackett misses the free throw to equalize (77-78), but Tucker breaks through to Cordinier, who then wins a trip to the line with 4″ to go. The Frenchman scores 2/2 and takes home the match at 79-78.

Virtus Bologna: Belinelli 14, Polonara 11, Cordinier 10; Venice: Parks 14, Tucker 13, De Nicolao 11.

 
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