By Cesare Milanti / info@Eurohoops.net
BOLOGNA, Italy – There’s a certain level of basketball played by EuroLeague teams in Italy, and another one for the rest of the competition. These LBA Semifinals are proving it, as both Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna are now up 2-0 against Dinamo Sassari and Derthona Tortona. Sergio Scariolo’s team crushed its opponents tonight, getting the crushing 108-78 win in Game 2.
Jordan Mickey and Mam Jaiteh dominated under the basket against Derthona’s big men. The former Real Madrid player went close to a double-double with 20 points and 8 rebounds in one of his best games since playing in Italy, while the French center accomplished it by scoring 11 with 10 boards.
Awudu Abass was crucial to give Virtus Bologna the right boost from defense to offense in the second quarter and ended Game 2 with 15 points and 2 steals. Milos Teodosic added 5 points and 7 assists. On the losing side, JP Macura had 16 points and 5 assists, while Mike Daum scored 17 with 5 rebounds.
Impressive first minutes at the start of the game by Cameron Hunt, who recently joined Derthona, and ended the game with X points. He guided the away team to a 7-point lead (14-7) in the first quarter, ending with Virtus Bologna returning and leading 23-20, thanks to Milos Teodosic producing a fantastic no-look pass to Jordan Mickey, a block to Leonardo Candi’s two-point attempt, and a three-pointer with 0:09 left.
Sergio Scariolo’s team easily extended the lead to 15 points (43-28) with Awudu Abass and the Serbian playmaker stealing the show at 5:18 on the clock. Tense nerves and Bologna’s control on offense came by, as the black-and-white side went to the locker room with a comfortable advantage, at 55-40.
In the second half, Derthona Tortona couldn’t harm Virtus Bologna, which kept hammering the opponents with an effective ball movement on offense. They reached a 20-point margin as Jordan Mickey dunked solo with 2:06 left in the third quarter and never stopped from then on, closing the third quarter up 80-58. The fourth quarter was just a pure demonstration of superiority heading to Game 3.
Just like in Game 1, Sergio Scariolo decided to sideline Ismael Bako, Iffe Lundberg, Kyle Weems, and Leo Menalo. Marco Ramondino decided to take Demonte Harper out of the rotation to replace him with the newest addition and former Wurzburg guard Cameron Hunt, who debuted with Tortona.
Following this victory, both Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna can sweep their opponents and book the tickets for the LBA Finals in Game 3. Ettore Messina’s team will play against Dinamo Sassari in PalaSerradimigni on June 1 at 21:00 CET, while the black-and-whites will step on the court on the following day at the same exact time. It would be the 3rd straight best-of-seven series between the two.
LBA Semifinals Schedule and Results:
Olimpia Milano – Dinamo Sassari, G1: 95-72
Olimpia Milano – Dinamo Sassari, G2: 80-75
Dinamo Sassari – Olimpia Milano, G3 (01/06 at 21:00 CET)
Dinamo Sassari – Olimpia Milano, Eventual G4 (03/06 at 21:00 CET)
Olimpia Milano – Dinamo Sassari, Eventual G5 (05/06 at 21:00 CET)
Virtus Bologna – Derthona Tortona, G1: 84-61
Virtus Bologna – Derthona Tortona, G2: 108-78
Derthona Tortona – Virtus Bologna, G3 (02/06 at 21:00 CET)
Derthona Tortona – Virtus Bologna, Eventual G4 (04/06 at 21:00 CET)
Virtus Bologna – Derthona Tortona, Eventual G5 (06/06 at 21:00 CET)
PHOTO CREDIT: Virtus Segafredo Bologna