Virtus offense unstoppable when mattered most

Mar 06, 2020 by Print
Virtus offense unstoppable when mattered most

With its 7DAYS EuroCup season coming down to one do-or-die game, Segafredo Virtus Bologna showcased one of the best offensive performances seen this season in the competition. Virtus was on fire for the entire 40 minutes against Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul and used its ball movement and a barrage of three-pointers en route to victory that booked Virtus a place in the quarterfinals and a best-of-three series against AS Monaco.

True elimination games such as this one are more often than not hard-fought low-scoring affairs, but Virtus let it loose from the get-go, grabbing the lead in the opening minute, taking control in the first quarter and never relinquishing its advantage the rest of the way of a high-pressure encounter.

"I am proud of the way we responded", Virtus guard Kyle Weems said after the game. "We did not play our best game, but at the end of the day we just wanted to win, that was our goal and we accomplished that."

Maybe Virtus did not play its best game, but it did have its best offensive performances in a EuroCup game ever. Virtus opened the contest by sinking 8 of its first 9 three-point attempts and by 7 different players no less. The team made 15 of 22 with 4 minutes to go before missing its last 3 attempts with the game already decided. The total is one shy of its EuroCup-best, but the 60% (15 for 25) accuracy was a new record for Virtus.

Many of the looks were wide-open, too, thanks to a great ball movement. The team dished 28 assists, also 1 shy of its record mark, with Milos Teodosic dishing all 6 of his in the final 11 minutes of the game. However, there were five other Virtus players – Devyn Marble, Alessandro Pajola, Filippo Baldi Rossi, Stefan Markovic and Giampaolo Ricci – who delivered at least 3 assists each in this victory.

It all led to Virtus putting up 106 points for the night, a club record, against one of the best defenses in the competition. With such a performance in what was essentially an elimination game that put an end to the Top 16, Virtus will not lack confidence going forward. And the rest of the quarterfinalists, Monaco included, certainly took notice.