Down 69-52 with less than 3 minutes to go in the third quarter, things looked far from bright for Segafredo Virtus Bologna on its visit to Israel to face Maccabi Rishon LeZion. At that point Virtus had just allowed a massive 22-2 run, its defense was being outplayed while its competition-leading scoring attack struggled. Virtus made just 2 of 16 three-point shots through the first three quarters, committed 15 turnovers and the team that had grabbed at least 11 offensive boards in each of the first six games pulled down just 3 going into the fourth quarter.
However, Virtus got a spark from a player who everyone expects to do just that – Milos Teodosic. He first snapped the drought with a driving layup, then dished a pair of assists for a 0-8 quarter-ending run. At the start of the fourth, Teodosic hit a pair of three-pointers, including one four-point play, and had an assist as Virtus took 70-76 lead. Fueled by Teodosic and with the big helping hand of Kyle Weems, Virtus made a huge comeback and with its 79-85 victory punched its ticket to the Top 16.
"What Teodosic [did], that is his job, that's who he is and what he has been doing his entire life," Coach Sasa Djordjevic said after the game. "But I want my team to react without him. We cannot just relax there and say he is going to take care of it. Not every day, not every night, but I think sometimes even he needs 'hey guys, take it a little bit out of my hands'."
What Djordjevic was more worried about was his team's defense in the first 27 minutes, when it allowed 69 points, but just 10 the rest of the way. "I don't understand why my team is not playing this kind of defense for the whole game, because that's what is needed," he pleaded.
Just like last week when Virtus rallied from another double-digit deficit to down ratiopharm Ulm, Djordjevic can dissect his team's flaws after another win and this time with a place in the Top 16 secured.