By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
UNICS Kazan stunned Virtus Segafredo Bologna with intensive defense starting the second half to secure the 107-100 victory in the 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals Game 3 held at Virtus Segafredo Arena Wednesday evening.
John Brown sank 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds inserting a 31 PIR as the game-high. Jamar Smith put up a game-high 24 points, 16 of those coming after the break and nine in the key third period. Okaro White added 22 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
“My feelings are mixed. Coming to play at the place I started my professional career was amazing, against a great team,” pointed out White recalling his 2014-15 campaign in Italy, “We played our heart out and played with a great mentality. And we won the game! We came here thinking we were going to win the game. It was a great game and I am glad we got the victory.”
An impressive defensive effort and additional focus on loose balls generated a ten-point cushion following a 20-8 run in the third quarter. The hosts closed the distance to a single bucket in the final quarter but UNICS got the necessary stops to hold on to the lead.
“We just stuck with our game plan and execute well down defensively. Of course, they got some calls but we stuck with it, didn’t bicker with the referees like in the past and just held it together,” noted Brown.
Winning the best-of-three series advanced the team coached by Dimitris Priftis to the Finals setting up a brand new best-of-three series against AS Monaco. Both finalists banked a spot in the next season of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
“It is a unique moment for us, for me personally, for the guys and for the club. We will participate next season with the top teams, in the EuroLeague,” said the Greek boss, “I am very thankful to my guys, to my players, to the staff, to the whole staff, to the people of my team. There was a very positive aura before we came here.”
The Italian club guided by Sasa Djordjevic prevailed in Game 1 of the series but went the opposite way in the next two close games versus UNICS. Milos Teodosic with 25 points, nine assists, and three rebounds did not make the cut. Marco Belinelli logged 24 points and Vince Hunter 13 points.