Venice wins Italian championship
Umana Reyer Venice won the Italian League championship for the first time since the 1940s on Tuesday by holding off Dolomiti Energia Trentino 78-81 to win their best-of-seven finals series 4-2. Melvin Ejim scored 15 points and MarQuez Haynes and Ariel Filloy netted 14 apiece for Venice, which took the lead for good on the first basket of the second half and led by as many as 12 before Trento rallied late. Dominique Sutton led Trento with 23 points and 13 rebounds and Dustin Hogue posted 16 points and 13 boards. Toto Forray scored 15 and Aaron Craft contributed 11 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in defeat.
Back-to-back threes by Ejim helped Venice to a 6-11 lead, but Trento closed the gap and tied it at 17-17 on a Joao Gomes triple to end the first quarter. The hosts surged ahead as Sutton scored 6 points in a 14-0 run to make it 31-20. Venice fought back with Haynes and Julyan Stone leading a 1-12 charge. Craft free throws pushed Trento ahead 36-35 at halftime. Filloy scored the first 5 points of the second half as Venice took control. Filloy started a 0-9 run with a triple and Bramos hit a pair of threes to make it 42-54. Forray hit 4 free throws in the final minute of the third quarter to keep Trento in it at 51-56. Tyrus McGee reestablished a double-digit advantage early in the fourth quarter. Sutton split free throws at the end of a 7-0 Trento run to close the gap to 61-66 midway through the fourth quarter. Trento rallied to within 78-79 through a three by Diego Flaccadori and a pair of baskets by Sutton, but free throws by Haynes locked up the victory and championship.