It took four attempts, but Umana Reyer Venice finally won its first road game of a 7DAYS EuroCup season. And Reyer did so in style, defensive style, by holding off a late comeback attempt by host Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse in a 62-73 season-opening victory.
"We played really solid on defense all game long", Reyer head coach Walter De Raffaele kept stressing after the game. "[Even] when Bourg tried to come back into the game, and we struggled on offense, we played hard on defense."
Reyer held the hosts to 4-for-21 two-point shooting in the first half, including 0-for-6 in the second quarter. The hosts improved their percentage after the break to the final 42.4%, but that's was still low. And that was not the only low percentage Reyer allowed as Bourg also finished the game only 6-for-21 on three-pointers.
In addition, Reyer forced 16 turnovers. And even though it allowed 15 offensive rebounds, Bourg had little use of it managing only 5 second-chance points.
"I absolutely liked our attitude for 40 minutes on defense", De Raffaele said. "That is what we were looking for, something that made us more concrete on offense. We had a lot of mistakes on offense, but we kept going tough on defense all game long."
It is early in the season, but such defensive effort will get teams far. Only two teams allowed fewer points than Reyer this week and both also won. As a matter of fact, no team that allowed fewer than 70 points lost in the opening week of the EuroCup.
Reyer had four players score in double figures, but the team's offense was far from humming. Which is a reason more it was the type of victory Coach De Raffaele liked so much.