Virtus Bologna beat Derthona to start the LBA Semifinals

2023-05-28T21:21:18+00:00 2023-05-28T21:21:18+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

28/May/23 21:21

Sergio Scariolo’s team followed Milano and opened its series with a relaxing victory against Derthona

By Cesare Milanti /

BOLOGNA, Italy – One year ago, Virtus Bologna swept Derthona Tortona 3-0 to advance to the LBA Finals. Today, Sergio Scariolo’s team began the series in the same convincing way, winning Game 1 of the Semifinals 84-61 against last year’s Italian Cup runner-up.

The former CSKA Moscow Shengelia-Hackett duo led the black-and-white team to victory. The Georgian power forward put up an all-around performance of 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, while the 35-year-old Italian playmaker ended with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Mam Jaiteh went close to a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds, while Semi Ojeleye added 15 points.

After dropping an average of 25.3 points against Derthona on three previous occasions this year, Marco Belinelli ended Game 1 with 15. Virtus Bologna’s captain opened things up with back-to-back three-pointers right at the start of the game, and Virtus Bologna rapidly found itself up 10-0.

Just like what happened in Game 1 between Olimpia Milano and Dinamo Sassari, the home side didn’t have any problems in the first half, reaching a 19-point lead (41-22) with 1:33 left in the second quarter. Things didn’t change in the second half, as Derthona never reduce the gap under 15 points.

For them, JP Macura had a 17-point losing effort, grabbing 6 rebounds as well. Semaj Christon, who was inserted in the 2021-22 All-EuroCup Second Team, scored 7 points and served 4 dimes for Derthona, but they both weren’t enough, as Virtus reached a 26-point lead with 8:04 left and never really turned back.

Sergio Scariolo decided to sideline Ismael Bako, Iffe Lundberg, Kyle Weems, and Leo Menalo. Marco Ramondino, named 2022-23 LBA Coach of the Year, left out of the rotation the newest addition Cameron Hunt and Mitja Nikolic. The former Virginia Tech 23-year-old Grant Basile is injured.

Following this victory, both Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna are now up 1-0 in their best-of-five series respectively against Dinamo Sassari and Derhtona Tortona. They could keep the home-court advantage with a second win in Game 2, respectively on May 29 and 30, both at 21:00 CET.

LBA Semifinals Schedule and Results:

Olimpia Milano – Dinamo Sassari, G1: 95-72
Olimpia Milano – Dinamo Sassari, G2 (29/05 at 21:00 CET)
Dinamo Sassari – Olimpia Milano, G3 (01/06 at 21:00 CET)

Virtus Bologna – Derthona Tortona, G1 84-61
Virtus Bologna – Derthona Tortona, G2 (30/05 at 21:00 CET)
Derthona Tortona – Virtus Bologna, G3 (02/06 at 21:00 CET)

PHOTO CREDIT: Virtus Segafredo Bologna