Virtus rolls over Buducnost to stay undefeated
Virtus Segafredo Bolonia used another excellent offensive performance to get past visiting Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 87-65 at Virtus Segafredo Arena on Tuesday night. The hosts raced ahead 26-14 in the first quarter and extended the lead to 20 points at halftime and never looked back. Virtus improved to 3-0 to stay atop Group G and remains the only undefeated team in the 7DAYS EuroCup, while the visitors dropped to 1-2. Marco Belinelli led all Virtus scorers with 21 points in as many minutes, followed by Vince Hunter, Giampaolo Ricci, Kyle Weems and Amar Alibegovic, who scored 13, 11, 10 and 10, respectively. Milos Teodosic fell short of a double-double as he posted 8 points and 10 assists. Justin Cobbs had 15 points on 10-of-11 free-throw shooting and Amedeo Della Valle scored 12 points for the losers.
Weems paced the home team in the early going, as he scored more than half of all the Virtus points in a 15-8 opening run. The visitors tried to slow down Virtus's offense with a timeout, but Belinelli showed up with a free throw and a three-pointer. Then Ricci joined to extend the margin to 21-8. Petar Popovic ended a 4-minute scoring drought with a tough off-the-glass shot, which seemed to recharge Buducnost’s defense for a while. It didn’t help make it tight, though, as Teodosic buried a deep triple to finish the first quarter with the hosts comfortably in front, 26-14. Virtus kept punishing from long-distance and collected back-to-back three-pointers from Alibegovic and Abass to amass a 32-14 edge that the former enlarged to 37-18 midway through the second quarter. Ivanovic took over for the visitors, both scoring and assisting, to give Buducnost some breathing room, but two consecutive technical fouls called on Melvin Ejim followed by another one on the visitors’ bench allowed Virtus to build a 42-24 advantage that turned into a 20-point margin, 48-28, at halftime.
Buducnost improved its defense after the break, holding Virtus scoreless for 3 minutes to make it 48-33. Belinelli came to the rescue with a corner three, but Della Valle answered from the same distance and Mitrovic contributed from the line to bring the visitors within 51-38. Both teams traded baskets until Josh Adams appeared to nail back-to-back three-pointers that reopened a 20-point gap, 65-45, with 2 minutes left in the third quarter. Free throws by Hunter and Teodosic helped the hosts finish the third quarter in control 68-47. Fedor Zugic tried to ignite a late rally with a couple of buckets entering the last quarter, but a timely timeout by Djordjevic aborted the reaction. Five points in a row by Hunter set a 21-point advantage, 77-56, with three minutes to play to lock up another EurCup victory for Virtus.
Virtus Segafredo Bolonia had another accurate performance from long distance, as it made 12 triples out of 26 attempts (46%) with 8 players hitting at least one. More than a half of them came in the first half, when the hosts built a 20-point lead.
…and the night
The visitors had the opposite experience, as they were just 5 of 22 (22.7%) from deep. Only Amadeo Della Valle was able to score more than one (2 of 5), as Fedor Zugic, Suad Sehovic, Melvin Ejim and Nikola Ivanovic combined to shoot 0 of 9.
Did you know?
The home team dished 30 assists, which is its third-best mark ever in the competition. The two better performances have also come this season and also at home. They dished out 32 against AS Monaco on October, 21, and 31 against Telenet Giants Antwerp on December, 16.
Both teams will face each other again in Top 16 Round 4 next week, when Virtus pays Buducnost a visit on Wednesday, February 3.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021