What happened in Virtus’ dressing room during halftime? To tell the truth, given the palpable anger on Sergio Scariolo’s face at the end of the second quarter, we wouldn’t exactly have wanted to be a Virtus player during these ten minutes between four walls… “No, it wasn’t hot but the message was clear,” smiled mom “Jaiteh afterwards. “We started the game very badly, me first. We had to start the second half very high and defensively very strong. Everyone understood what that meant.”
JL Bourg dreamed of one last performance
Either way, it would have been hard to do worse than the first company. With no defensive intensity (40 points in the 15th minute), “without concentration” according to Sergio Scariolo, Virtus Bologna allowed JL Bourg to settle in their match and play their basketball. A pleasant game, all in ball movement and skill (7/12 on three points), with some rebound control (13 to 16) and defensive principles. This allowed Axel Julien’s teammates, radiant in this interlude (10 points on 3/5 and 3 assists), to count up to 13 points (47-34, 19th minute). “It was a great first half, one of the best of the season,” noted Laurent Legname. But faced with such a large number of stars, who also played a decisive game to secure the advantage of the field during his round of 16, there had to be a reaction.
As in Nanterre, Maxime Roos was one of the best Burgiens
(photo: Jacques Cormarèche)
She didn’t wait. Maximum 90 seconds, the time for Hugo Benitez to hold the flame (51-40, 21st minute). And then the curtain fell on the Burgian illusions. There it was no longer the Virtus in tourism in Ain under the eyes of its legend Antoine Rigaudeau, it was the Virtus candidate for the final victory. Envy, combativeness, absolute defensive impenetrability, the vision of the fantastic play of Milos Teodosic (9 assists) that makes the attacking play more fluid, then enhanced by the toughness of Daniel Hackett (17 points at 5/8 and 5 rebounds), the activity from Isaïa Cordinier (passed from -2 to 10 of evaluation). But… “We haven’t changed a single line of our strategy,” Sergio Scariolo revealed. “I have no credit to receive in the second half, I did not make any adjustments. But the players took things much more seriously. A renewed concentration that resulted in a defensive masterpiece after the return from the locker room, with the JL through a infernal 48-13, from 51-40 to 64-88. “Defensively, it’s one of our most talented halves,” appreciated Mouhammadou Jaiteh (11 points on 4/6, 5 rebounds and 2 assists). We have shown character and that will help us in the future. “The rest is the start of serious business for Virtus and a season that will be played over four dry games in the play-offs. “The title is clearly the goal, everything is in place for that. It’s up to us to get there are, we have everything for it anyway.”
“It’s the Bad of the Season”
As for the JL, the rest will be the time for regrets over his European campaign, which could have easily stretched to a prestigious round of 16 at Badalone or Partizan. But this one is unlikely to last as the race against time to hold onto the Betclic ELITE play-offs has become a priority. If this last image remains in halftone, of an exciting first half against a great European, then of an avoidable resignation, almost a submission. “It’s the evil of the season, we’ve lost our aggressiveness and our intensity for no reason,” Laurent Legname sighed. “As soon as things started to get worse, we lowered our heads too quickly, we weren’t there anymore. It’s hard to take because even if they are stronger we should have had better intentions. Maybe the players believed in the feat and had the backlash, they didn’t have the mental ability to come out and finish the competition with their heads held high. It’s a shame to end, because maybe we didn’t deserve such a gap. “A bad note to finish (68-90, final score), but it was the joker game at the end of the season for JL Bourg, who lost. In reality, as for the Virtus, the sequel is also the beginning of serious things.