Virtus tops Lokomotiv to clinch Top 16 berth
Milos Teodosic set a EuroCup personal best with 29 points to lead Virtus Segafredo Bologna to an 83-89 victory on the road at Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and a berth in the Top 16. Virtus became the first team to advance to that stage as it improved to 6-0 on the season. Amedeo Tessitori added 15 points and 7 rebounds, Alessandro Pajola amassed 12 points, 6 boards and 4 assists and Kyle Weems and Julian Gamble each scored 10 for Virtus, which trailed by 3 entering the fourth quarter before going on an 8-0 run to take control for good. Kevin Hervey scored 21 to lead Lokomotiv, which dropped to 5-2 – having won all its games spare the two against Virtus. Alan Williams posted 15 points and a club-record 18 rebounds, Jordan Crawford also scored 15, Will Cummings added 13 and Mantas Kalnietis tallied 12 points and 11 assists.
The visitors scored on their first two possessions and benefitted from a trio of Lokomotiv turnovers to take a 3-8 lead on Amedeo Tessitori's second basket. The hosts used a timeout to regroup after which Williams scored twice in a 6-0 spurt to take the lead. The pace picked up with the introductions of guards Cummings and Teodosic off the bench. Three-pointers by Weems and Teodosic helped Virtus jump in front. The latter added a basket-plus-foul and Gamble had a put-back dunk to stretch the lead to 7. Hervey drew Lokomotiv within 22-27 after 10 minutes. Teodosic remained hot with a basket-plus-foul and a fantastic full-court assist to Gamble for a 25-33 lead. Back-to-back triples by Hervey and Kalnietis capped an 8-0 run to tie the game at 36-36. The visitors called timeout after which Pajola scored twice in a 0-6 spurt. Crawford scored twice to bring Lokomotiv back. An open three from Tessitori lifted Virtus to a 44-49 advantage at halftime.
Virtus scored the first 5 points of the second half to establish a double-digit lead. Cummings buried a long three and Hervey connected three times from deep in an 18-0 Lokomotiv response to take the lead, 62-54. Tessitori ended a 6-minute Virtus scoring drought with a basket in the paint and soon added a pair of free throws. After Kalnietis and Teodosic traded threes, a layup by the latter closed the gap to 68-65 at the end of the third quarter. Virtus took over at the start of the fourth quarter with 8 straight points – half of which came from Teodosic's hands. It took nearly 4 minutes before Crawford got Lokomotiv going with a three-pointer to make it 71-73. A pull up three from Teodosic gave Virtus some breathing room and Weems connected from behind the arc to make it 75-81 with 1:50 to play. Teodosic fed Gamble for a slam and sank free throws for a 10-point lead. Kalnietis drained back-to-back threes to trim the deficit to 81-85 with 24 seconds remaining, however, free throws by Adams wrapped up the Virtus victory.
Player of the game
Last season's 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season MVP Milos Teodosic dominated with a EuroCup career-high 29 points. He was effective all game long with 6 points in the first quarter, 7 in the second, 7 in the third and 9 in the fourth. He also dished 3 of his 5 assists in the fourth, accounting for two-thirds of the team's points in that stretch as Virtus came from behind to win.
Lokomotiv can turn to two areas that most hurt its chances to win the game. It committed a season-high 20 turnovers, which were also the third-most at home in club history. Virtus scored 29 points off of those turnovers. What's more, Lokomotiv shot 16 for 38 (42.1%), which was its lowest of the season except for its other loss to Virtus.
The record book
Six different Virtus players blocked a shot as the team set a club record with 8 blocks. Alan Williams amassed 18 rebounds to break his own Lokomotiv record.
Both of these teams will play at home in Round 8. Virtus is scheduled to host MoraBanc Andorra on Tuesday, November 17. Lokomotiv faces Lietkabelis Panevezys the next day.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020