By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
ANTWERP – The banner with the black “V” once again means not only Virtus but also “victory”. Segafredo Virtus Bologna got the 73-61 win over Iberostar Tenerife and got the Basketball Champions League trophy for the 2018-19 season.
The Italians played with fire, letting the Spanish make it a seven-point game (64-57) with two minutes left, but after their great start of the game and their 38-24 halftime lead, they managed to prevail.
Kevin Punter with 26 points was the star of the night, winning his second straight BCL title after last season’s success with AEK. Amath M’Baye also got the job done with 16 points, while captain Pietro Aradori added nine and former NBA champion Mario Chalmers scored eight. He also made a key shot in the closing minutes, giving to Virtus a 67-59 lead.
Tenerife made just five out of 37 triples and that number was the story of the game. The Spaniards couldn’t buy a bucket and the duo of Tim Abromaitis (18 p.) and Colton Iverson (11 p.) couldn’t save the day.
Virtus led even by 17 points (29-12) in the first half and Tenerife simply couldn’t cover the lost ground after that, despite getting back in the game during the last period.
Virtus Bologna has won in the past twice the EuroLeague (1998, 2001) and also the Saporta Cup (1990) and most recently the FIBA EuroChallenge (2009).
Photo credit: Basketball Champions League