Virtus Bologna confirmed its favorite status by beating Ulm (83-77) as the first surprise came for Andorra upsetting Gran Canaria (79-77)
Virtus Bologna relied on the tremendous performance of its French center Mam Jaiteh (27 points, 11 rebounds, 38 PIR). However, Ulm was in the lead at halftime (43-45) thanks to Jaron Blossomgame (22 points, 7 rebounds) and Semaj Christon (15 points, 7 assists). Bologna came up strong in the third quarter with a 24 point run and a crucial basket by Jaiteh in the last 40 seconds to gain a 4 point-lead. Bologna will now face the winner of Boulogne Metropolitans 92 – Valencia in the semi-finals.
“On our side, I think we played a very bad defensive second quarter. For the rest of the game, our defense was good and at times in the second half, it was really, really good. We regained control of the rebounds in the second half and forced turnovers. We contained a little bit better their shooters. We missed a lot of excellent shots and our shooting percentage for threes (8.3%) was like, wow, is this the main mistake here? Was there anything wrong here? But we scored 83 points basically without making a three-pointer and we will take it. We of course have to trust our open shots. We did an excellent job to create them and trust that those will go in in the next game. That’s it.”Sergio Scariolo, Virtus Bologna head coach
Andorra upsets feisty Gran Canaria
This All-Spanish clash came all the way down to the wire. David Jelinek (17 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds) and Codi Miller-Mcintyre (17 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds) were the main offensive threats for Andorra. On the other side, Gran Canaria relied on Artem Pustovyi (12 points, 7 assists) and Nicolas Brussino (11 points, 9 rebounds) to lead 63-57 when entering the final period. The best player down the stretch was definitely Clevin Hannah for Andorra. With the score 77 – 74 and two minutes to play, he drained three free throws to tie the score and then made two extra for the 77 – 79 lead. Hannah then draw a key charge from Nicolas Brussino with 29 seconds. Andorra will now face the winner of the Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana – Frutti Extra Bursaspor knockout.
“It was a balanced game. We started it well, unlike in my previous two games with the team, in which it was hard for us to get our rhythm. Granca used its second unit to change the game’s rhythm and take it where they wanted it. We were able to bounce back at the end of the second quarter, keeping their difference under 10 points. After that, we did a good job in the third quarter which was not reflected in the scoreboard, because we worked well on offense and defense. We got the reward for our good work in the fourth quarter.”Oscar Quintana, Andorra head coach
Photo: Mam Jaiteh (Euroleague)