Already one of the great players of his generation, Milos Teodosic turned in another gem on Wednesday to lead undefeated Virtus Segafredo Bologna to a regular-season sweep of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and with it, a spot in the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16. Last season's 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season MVP dominated with a EuroCup career-high 29 points as his team won the game 83-89.
Lokomotiv knew what to expect – Teodosic had already tallied 18 points and 7 assists when they met in Round 2, but still could not find the answers. Lokomotiv head coach Evgeny Pashutin said as much in the post-game press conference: "We expected this kind of game. Teodosic scored 29 points on high [shooting] percentages; we prepared for this, but we were not able to stop him."
The Virtus star was effective all game long with 6 points in the first quarter, 7 in the second, 7 in the third and 9 in the fourth. He also dished 3 of his 5 assists in the fourth, accounting for two-thirds of the team's points in that stretch as Virtus came from behind to win.
Teodosic topped the 20-point mark five times in 15 games for Virtus last season, his first with the club. He has now done so twice in five appearances this season. Before torching the Lokomotiv defense, his best scoring output in the EuroCup was 25 points against AS Monaco in last season's regular-season finale.
As dominant as Teodosic was last season, he has been even better for Virtus this season. He is averaging 19.4 points, which is third in the competition, plus 7.4 assists, which is likewise third-best in the EuroCup. No other player is in the top 10 in both categories. Teodosic has also improved his shooting on both two-pointers (66.7%) and threes (41.2%) from last year.
As great as Teodosic is, he isn't the lone reason for Virtus's superb showing.
"I think we played defensively really a good game," Coach Sasa Djordjevic said after the game. "Of course, Teodosic ran the offense really well and we had some good reads."
Indeed, Virtus forced Lokomotiv into 20 turnovers and turned them into 29 points. It also set club records with 8 blocked shots and six different players blocking a shot. The long arms of Vince Hunter, Julian Gamble, Amar Alibegovic and Amedeo Tessitori kept Lokomotiv to a subpar 42.1% conversion rate on two-pointers.
"Twenty turnovers was the reason we lost the game," Pashutin assessed.
Who can argue with coaches who boast the resumes that Djordjevic and Pashutin do? In short, with Teodosic on offense and tough defense, Virtus was too much for Lokomotiv.