Reggio Emilia pulled the upset against Virtus Bologna in the Quarter-Finals

2024-02-15T19:54:31+00:00 2024-02-15T22:45:46+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

15/Feb/24 19:54

Luca Banchi’s team feel down under Langston Galloway’s three-pointers and Mouhamed Faye’s dominion at the rim

By Cesare Milanti /

TURIN, Italy – It’s the week where unexpected things happen, and the first real surprise of the Italian Cup Final Eight for 2024 came in the third Quarter-Finals. Recovering from being down even 34-23, Reggio Emilia managed to take down Virtus Bologna 81-72, advancing to the Semi-Finals.

The 2005-born promising center Mouhamed Faye was the only one capable of scoring for Reggio Emilia at the beginning of the encounter, scoring the team’s first 10 points. He ended up shooting perfectly from two (7/7) for 16 points and 6 boards but had to leave the court with 5:18 minutes left after committing five fouls. Langston Galloway added 20 points with 3/6 from deep – including two threes to run away.

On Virtus Bologna’s side, Tornike Shengelia dominated with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, followed scoring-wise by Marco Belinelli, who had 14 points but struggled from three-point range (4/12). Jordan Mickey also had 10 points in Luca Banchi’s team’s loss. “I assume all the responsibility for such a bad performance to approach an important game like this in such a crucial competition for us”, Luca Banchi commented in the post-game press conference.

Despite losing Kevin Hervey and not having Tarik Black on board yet, Dimitris Priftis’ team found an outstanding performance against the black-and-white EuroLeague powerhouse, who hasn’t won the competition since 2001-02. Reggio Emila will now face one between Brescia and Napoli.

In the first game day of the most anticipated competition of the year in Italian basketball, both EA7 Emporio Armani Milano and Umana Reyer Venezia found important victories respectively against Dolomiti Energia Trentino and Estra Pistoia, getting to the Semi-Finals on Saturday at 18:00 CET.

Jacob Pullen’s Napoli took down 1st-seeded Brescia

Losing 104-83 to Brescia on February 3, Napoli was called to a miracle against one of the most in-form teams in the whole of Europe. After Reggio Emilia eliminated Virtus Bologna in the hugest upset of the cup’s break, Napoli followed with another miracle, winning 80-74 and taking down the reigning champs.

The 34-year-old experienced shooting guard Jacob Pullen dragged Igor Milicic’s team with clutch plays, finishing on the winning side with 25 points over 3/8 from the arc and 8/9 at the charity stripe. Markel Brown, newly arrived to the team, contributed with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

On Alessandro Magro’s team, the defensive specialist John Petrucelli tried his best with an all-around performance of 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Kenny Gabriel wanted to keep his team afloat with a scoring contribution of 19 points, but the former Panathinaikos player wasn’t enough.

2024 LBA Italian Cup Final Eight


EA7 Emporio Armani Milano – Dolomiti Energia Trentino 80-57
Umana Reyer Venezia – Estra Pistoia 86-71
Virtus Segafredo Bologna – UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia 72-81
Germani Brescia – GeVi Napoli Basket 80-74


EA7 Emporio Armani Milano – Umana Reyer Venezia (17/02 at 18:00 CET)
UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia – GeVi Napoli Basket (17/02 at 20:45 CET)

PHOTO CREDIT: Virtus Segafredo Bologna

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