Big rally sends Virtus into Top 16
Segafredo Virtus Bologna rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit on the road to down Maccabi Rishon LeZion 79-85 and qualify for the Top 16 on Wednesday night. This win improved Virtus to 6-1, the best record in Group A, while Rishon dropped to 1-6 in its first 7DAYS EuroCup season. Rishon made a huge run in the third quarter to build a 69-52 lead, but Virtus replied with a 1-24 charge to regain the lead midway through the fourth quarter and never relinquish it. Julian Gamble paced the winners with 19 points, Milos Teodosic had 18 points and 6 assists, Frank Gaines had 13 and Kyle Weems contributed 10 points for Virtus. Alex Hamilton and Johnathan Williams each had 19 points for the hosts. Hamilton also had 8 rebounds and 7 assists, while Williams pulled down 11 rebounds. Frederic Bourdillon netted 15 points, and Jordan Swing had 11 points in a losing effort.
The hosts opened the game with a triple-plus-foul from Bourdillon. With Swing in charge of the offense, another three from Bourdillon and one apiece from Swing and Noam Dovrat helped Rishon grab a 21-15 lead. After a timeout, however, Virtus finished the quarter with a 1-10 run as Gaines had a steal for an easy layup and Vince Hunter banked a jumper to beat the buzzer and make it 22-25 after the first quarter. The hosts quickly replied with fastbreak baskets from Hamilton and Williams. Gamble ruled inside, stringing together 9 points for Virtus, including a three-point play as the teams traded baskets. Swing hit a transition three-pointer and Adam Ariel added another to put Rishon back in front and the hosts held 47-45 at halftime.
Gaines had a three-pointer early in the second to give the visitors a 47-50 lead, but Rishon replied with a big run. Williams, Hamilton and Blayzer sparked an 8-0 run before back-to-back threes from Bourdillon started a 14-0 blitz that gave the hosts a 69-52 lead. Virtus scored the last 8 points of the quarter and Teodosic opened the fourth with a three-pointer followed by a fastbreak layup from Weems that cut it to 69-65. A corner triple-plus-foul from Teodosic and a three from David Cournooh followed by a pair of baskets from Weems helped put Virtus in front 70-76. The visitors did not allow a field goal for more than 6 minutes to open the fourth quarter before Hamilton's runner snapped the drought. However, Gaines and Teodosic made sure Virtus's leads remained intact and the visitors closed out the game.
Two make the Top 16
Virtus came into the game knowing a win would qualify it for the Top 16, but combined with MoraBanc Andorra's win over ratiopharm Ulm on Tuesday, this result also sent Promitheas Patras into the next phase.
Rishon's big run
The hosts held Virtus to just one field goal over a span of almost 6 minutes during the third quarter. Rishon had an 8-0 run to start and 14 unanswered points to finish a 22-2 run to go up 69-52 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
Virtus's bigger run
Virtus scored the final 8 points of the third quarter and then opened the fourth with a 1-16 charge fueled by Milos Teodosic. A 1-24 run over almost 9 minutes bridging the third and fourth quarters turned a 69-52 deficit into a 70-76 lead that Virtus never relinquished.
Trouble on offensive glass
Rishon outrebounded the visitors 36-26. Virtus had at least 11 offensive rebounds in each of its previous six games this season. It had just 4 in this one and only 1 in the first half.
Next week in Round 8 both teams will be on the road on Wednesday. Rishon travels to play AS Monaco while Virtus visits MoraBanc Andorra.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019