By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Iffe Lundberg scored 15 out of his season-high 21 points in the last 12 minutes as Virtus Bologna defeated Barcelona 80 – 75 after a comeback from down 16 in the first half. The Italian side climbed at 9 – 4 to remain third in the EuroLeague standings.
Lundberg hit a couple of big and difficult shots in the final period, including the 3-point dagger for the 79 – 75 in front of Jan Vesely with 17 seconds remaining. Nicolas Laprovittola missed the triple on the other end and Barca suffered its first loss after three wins to drop to 9 – 3.
“We needed this one pretty bad coming off the week we had,” Lundberg. “It was all about protecting home court. We stay resilient in every game and play 40 minutes, not 35. We took it one possession at a time and fought back.”
Toko Shengelia produced 14 points plus nine rebounds while Daniel Hackett scored 14 and dished out six assists for a Virtus team that greatly improved its defense – especially inside the paint – after the break and managed to translate these stops into baskets.
A complete transformation
“After halftime, we changed our behavior on the court completely,” Virtus coach Luca Banchi said. “We focused better to match their physicality and aggressiveness. We played as a team. Unfortunately in the first 20 minutes, we were too selfish in trying to solve our problems. That’s not in our DNA.”
Barca, that led 33 – 45 at halftime, saw a 51 – 61 advantage late in the third quarter getting evaporated in two minutes as Virtus tied the score at 61 – 61 with 10 unanswered points. The hosts went up in the score and remained ahead until Tomas Satoransky hit a three to make it 74 – 75 with 1:05 to play. A pair of free throws by Hackett gave Virtus the lead once more and Lundberg’s big 3-pointer sealed the outcome.
“We are sad because we had a good first half and also third quarter,” Barca coach Roger Grimau said. “But we didn’t do well in the last quarter. They are a great team and they punished us.”