Upcoming MatchMaccabi Playtika Tel Aviv vs Segafredo Virtus Bologna/28 Mar 2023iten

LBA, Playoff Semifinal, Game-3: focus on our opponents

At the end of game 2, at the middle of the semifinal, there is only one team that has won them all, but it is the one that has always played outside. Now, for the final, Virtus has its destiny in its hands: it’s not mathematics, just common sense, but if it wins one at home, out of two, it goes. It’s not a deadly schedule, although it should be approached with due respect.

At PalaPentassuglia we have admired 2 different wins: if in game 1 Segafredo took the point by shooting 12 times more than rivals (59-71 for two points shoot), two days later the data was reversed in favour of Brindisi (63-55) and it is obvious that there the gap emerged on how they shot (36.5% vs 52.7%). The different set-up chosen by coach Vitucci between the two games (one more big man in the first, one more small player in the second) has instead influenced more the black and white offensive choices (Virtus two points shoot 38 times, only 31 on Tuesday) than their own (Brindisi has always danced between 34 and 35 shots from the midrange).
In the first 80 minutes it can be said that Virtus has risen so far with many merits, standing out also in the rebounding (34-38 and 40-46) against the best team of the regular season in this voice, if anything less certain in the favourite territory, the one where assists and losses form an embrace that has always been Segafredo’s friend, where even the balance of the first 2 games has been negative overall: 30 vs. 32. After saying goodbye to Tessitori, Djordjevic, has now recovered his injured players: if Markovic is now running (45 minutes played in Puglia), Weems is getting back to it, but the most used (48 minutes) remains at the moment is Gamble, back to his highest seasonal performance levels. Defence, and therefore Pajola’s too, has obviously been lived before, during and after these first five post season games: squeezing a summary, with him and Markovic finally enrolled, the wall has been raised. Then there would be the two of them, Beli and Teo, who punctually hit the enemy’s guts from long range: 18 triples with 53% for the pair. We’ve seen worse.
The suggestion, strong and obvious, is that Virtus is only 40 minutes away from the final, with the comfort of living it at home and also with part of its fans. History, however, warns that nothing will be easy or obvious. It’s the third time this year at the Segafredo Arena that Virtus is only one victory away from the finishing line (Supercup), or knocks on the last door that separates it from a final (Eurocup): faces and stories are clear memories for many.

Live on RaiSport, Eurosport 2, Eurosport Player and Radio Nettuno Bologna Uno.