Bologna, 27 ottobre –
Virtus Segafredo Bologna-Ratiopharm Ulm 87-76
(23-28, 17-16, 22-10, 16-17)
VIRTUS: Tessitori, Cordinier 2, Mannion 4, Belinelli 13, Pajola 2, Alibegovic 5, Hervey 8, Ruzzier 1, Jaiteh 20, Sampson 17, Weems 10, Teodosic 3. Coach Scariolo
ULM: Christon 14; Felicio 13; Blossomgame 2; Guenther 5; Phillpps 5; Bretzel 11; Herkenhoff 3; Klepeisz 3; Krimmer 2; Jallow 11; Zugic 7. Coach Lakovic
Home opener for Virtus Segafredo Bologna that hosts the German team of Ratiopharm Ulm of Coach Lakovic at the Paladozza. The Orange open the scoring with Zugic, the Vere Nere with Belinelli and Pajola respond immediately. Hervey dunks on Sampson’s assist and the black and white defense withstands Jallow and his teammates. 8 to 5 Segafredo after 3′ from the two-ball. But the guests don’t like it, Felicio and Christon make a 7-0 break and take the lead, the ex-Indiana forward breaks the rhythm and scores, Belinelli makes a triple from the corner and the HCL overtake is completed, 13-12 Virtus. Teodosic and Jaiteh enter, convulsive phase of the game in which both teams fail to get the upper hand on each other. Teodosic’s assist is a wedding invitation for Jaiteh who scores the momentary tie, 21 to 21 at 2′ from the first siren. Guenther’s triple, Mannion scores, but Bretzel extends the distance to 5 points when the buzzer sounds after the first 10′ minutes of the game. 23-28 Ulm.
Second quarter starts with Alibegovic’s dunk, followed by Teodosic’s assist for Jaiteh who also closes the three-point game, Virtus shortens the distance (28 to 32). Stalemate in the game, both teams struggle to find their way to the basket, Jallow breaks the balance by hitting a triple from beyond 6.75 and forcing the Segafredo bench to call time out. 28-37 Ulm for the game’s partial score with just over 5′ left in the half. Pajola intercepts the ball on defense, Sampson takes the shot and finishes the counterattack, another masterful recovery by the HCL defense that closes this one out with a basket. Sampson closes the three-point game that gives Segafredo a -3. Belinelli closes the comeback with a three that sends the Virtus crowd into raptures. In the last minute, Ulm plays the lead role, goes up by 4 and closes the first half with a score of 40-44.
Just one minute from the start of the third quarter to tie the score at 44-44, a few too many fouls and the visiting team goes back ahead by 3. Two consecutive recoveries by Weems, who in both cases serves Jaiteh under the basket, revive the black and white attack, Hervey takes advantage of an offensive rebound and puts Virtus up by 3 points before Ulm calls a minute of suspension. When Belinelli returns to the court, he immediately makes a basket and foul, Ulm responds with a bomb from 6.75. Defenses raise the pace, forcing both teams to lose several balls. An unlucky shot by Weems goes in and out and the teams are deadlocked at 53-50 until Jaiteh breaks the deadlock with a dunk.
Teodosic and Mannion enter the court for Jaiteh and Belinelli, while Hervey continues to prove a factor in rebounding. Two minutes from the end Cordinier enters the court, while Sampson makes 1/2 and Bretzel punishes with a dunk. Several triples are missed on both sides of the court, two consecutive stops by Hervey and Cordinier lead Hervey to dunk on the counterattack for a 60-52. The third quarter closes with Virtus leading with a score of 62-54.
A ball recovered by Alibegovic launches Mannion into a counterattack, Sampson scores a difficult basket and, shortly after, Mannion himself goes to the basket with a floater from the free throw line. Ulm immediately calls timeout to reorganize the attacks, but when they come back on the court they start with a Sampson’s block and a dunk by Alibgovic in open court. Klepeisz finally succeeds in moving the scoreboard with a well hit triple, but Virtus, despite some bad shots, continues to score with Sampson.
Pajola and Jaiteh return to the court. Silva Felicio becomes the pivot of the German attack, but Milos Teodosic doesn’t give in and responds with his first triple of the game. Five minutes from the end of the game, Teodosic serves a splendid alley-oop for Cordinier who scores 76-62. Hervey makes use of the length of his arms and scores a basket off his own offensive rebound, the answer is immediate with a triple by Jallow.
Coach Scariolo calls timeout on 78-71. A violation of 24 seconds gives the ball to Ulm, who fails to score, Belinelli scores a clean mid-range shot and the visiting team responds with a bomb.
Weems ends a counterpunch with a tap-in after an unlucky support by Hervey; with one minute left Virtus is ahead 82-74. Another open court dunk by our number 34 starts the game towards its conclusion. Jaiteh’s 3/4 free throws seals the end of the game, Virtus wins 87-76 against Ratiopharm Ulm. 20 points for Jaiteh, 17 for Sampson and 15 for Belinelli.