Happy Casa Brindisi vs Virtus Segafredo Bologna: 74-83
(Q1 18–19; Q2 38–39 ; Q3 56–60)
Happy Casa Brindisi: Bostic 9, Motta, Zanelli 6, Harrison 16, Visconti, Gaspardo 2, Thompson 9, Cattapan, Udom 2, Bell 3, Perkins 15, Willis 12.
Virtus Segafredo Bologna: Deri, Belinelli 16, Pajola 1, Alibegovic 2, Markovic 3, Ricci 15, Adams, Hunter 9, Weems 2, Teodosic 16, Gamble 10, Abass 9.
Arbitri: Tolga SAHIN, Carmelo LO GUZZO, Lorenzo BALDINI.
Belinelli opens the game with two threes in a row but Brindisi is there and responds blow for blow. Intense and very physical first quarter on both sides, with both teams in the bonus after 5′. Weems scores +3 on a fast break, Harrison makes no mistake from the line. Then Teodosic from the arc responds to Willis’ triple and closes the first quarter on 18-19. Teodosic again from the arc opens the second period, then Hunter’s dunk makes it +6 and forces Vitucci to take a timeout. Harrison brings Happy Casa back down, and they go ahead before Markovic ties the game at 28 with 5′ left in the half. Willis makes a three-pointer to give Happy Casa a new lead, but Teodosic responds with the same coin. Then it’s Perkins from the line to close the first half with the score at 38-39 at halftime. Teodosic and Ricci open the second half with a 7-point lead after 3 minutes. The HCL defence gets on a roll, especially with Gamble hurting the home team. Thompson scores the -6 (46-52), then Belinelli from the arc twice for the HCL +11. Willis and Bostic from the line allow Brindisi to find the basket and go back to -4 and the third quarter ends 56-50. Ricci and Gamble hurt the opponent’s defense at the start, Zanelli gives Vitucci’s team new life on offense and they stay within -9 (59-68). Three-point plays on both sides, first with Bostic then Abass, and Virtus is back up by 10. Zanelli again from the arc allows his team to hang on to the match, then Perkins makes a half from the line even though Ricci keeps his opponents at bay and scores 69-77 with 2′ left. Thompson responds to Ricci’s +11 triple, but then Segafredo’s defense shuts down. Virtus stays ahead, Belinelli from the line brings the lead back to double digits at 30″. Happy Casa has no more left and Virtus take home Game 2. Finished 74-83.
Coach speech after the game.
“Our first thought was to stop Brindisi’s transition. On the offensive end, we lost a few balls that I didn’t like, but we supported the ball well overall. We were there for rebounds and that was another key. Our leaders had two very good games, with excellent defense from Markovic and Pajola. Abass did some good things, he was always there waiting for Weems to come back. Ricci also finished the game well today. There’s little to add, we’re 2-0 and the only thing that matters is this. We’re understanding what it takes to play this kind of game: we have a lot of first-time players in the longest season in history. We’ve missed some tough games this season but the team is on focus now.”