Barcelona sets up Real finals clash
FC Barcelona moved to the Spanish League playoff finals with 89-72 win over Iberostar Tenerife in the deciding game of their best-of-three semifinal series. Barcelona will play arch-rival Real Madrid for the title. After teams traded blows in the first quarter and early in the second, Pau Gasol hit back-to-back threes to spark Barcelona's charge. Adam Hanga hit a triple, and Nick Calathes capped an 12-3 run with a three of his own to give Barcelona 41-31 margin. Calathes hit another three early in the third before Barcelona defense stepped up, not allowing a single point in more than 4 minutes, while Gasol, Cory Higgins and Kyle Kuric with a three-pointer increased the margin to 60-45. Higgins made it 68-50 going into the fourth quarter, and the visitors never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way. Gasol paced Barcelona with 15 points and 5 rebounds, Brandon Davies and Higins scored 14 apiece, while Calathes scored 13 in a victory. Aaron Doornekamp led Tenerife with 19 points.
Virtus sweeps Milan, claims Italian crown!
Virtus Segafredo Bologna is the Italian League champion! Virtus lifted the Italian League trophy for the first time in 20 years by downing AX Armani Exchange Milan 73-62 at home in Game 4 of the finals. Virtus swept the best-of-seven series and won its 16th Italian League crown. Marco Belinelli led the winners with 15 points. Kyle Weems added 14 while Milos Teodosic had 10 for Virtus. Shavon Shields led Milan with 16 points. Kevin Punter added 11 while Luigi Datome and Kyle Hines each had 10 for the guests. Stefan Markovic and Awudu Abass allowed Virtus to get an early 9-8 lead. Datome had 6 points in a 0-9 run, and Punter scored 7 points late in the first quarter to give Milan a 19-24 lead after 10 minutes. Bellinelli and Weems each struck from downtown in a 13-0 run that made Virtus regain a 32-27 margin early in the second quarter. Datome and Shields rescued Milan, allowing their team to get a 41-43 edge at halftime. Virtus improved its defense after the break and found its regular go-to guy in Teodosic, who put his team ahead, 55-51, after 30 minutes. Belinelli buried a couple of triples early in the fourth quarter and Vince Hunter dunked to make it a seven-point game, 63-56, with 6 minutes left. Weems and Giampaolo joined the three-point shootout to seal the outcome, 71-60, and get the party started at Virtus Segafredo Arena!