Umana Venezia managed to get back in the Semi-Finals after they were trailed by 2 games to 1 and they reached the Seria A Finals after a two years break. In the 2016/2017 season, Venezia was crowned as champions after beating Dolomiti Trento 4-2 in the Finals. Let`s see how they managed to win game 4 at home and game 5 away.
In Game 4, Umana Venezia won 78-75. They already started with a big advantage, winning the first quarter 30-10. What`s worth to be mentioned regarding this match are the facts that Venezia outrebounded their opponents 44-33 and also the stats of Cremona`s star Drew Crawford. He finished the game with 2 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds, missing all his 10 field goals attempts. Those missing shots proved to be too much for Vanoli Cremona. When we look at the final score, only 2 field goals made from Crawford would have had a huge impact on the scoreboard. Mitchell Watt (19 points and 4 rebounds) and Stefano Tonut (17 points and 6 rebounds) were the main scorers for Venezia and for Cremona, Mangok Mathiang (22 points and 7 rebounds) and Michele Ruzzier (14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists) were the delivering guys.
In Game 5, in a huge game for Vanoli Cremona`s history, Venezia managed to win the game and advance to the Finals. Like in Game 4, Venezia started the game in a strong fashion, winning the first quarter 25-12. They also won the next two quarters, only to see an attempt to make a big comeback from Cremona, in the fourth quarter when they won 21-12, but it wasn`t enough to overcome the final score. Venezia won on assists column by 14 to 8, but what was more important, the contribution of bench players. The Venezia`s bench scored 41 points to Cremona`s 16. This statistic shows how many players Venezia had and that their bench is more and more powerful than Cremona`s 3 or 4 random players. Yeah, Cremona has a very good starting 5, but if you want to succeed, you need some serious help from the bench. The main scorers for Venezia were Michael Bramos with 22 points (5-9 from the arc), 5 rebounds and Austin Daye with 20 points and 5 rebounds. For Cremona, the only players worth to be mentioned are Wesley Saunders with 21 points and Mathiang with his 14 rebounds. Cremona finished the game with 4 shots made from the 3-point line from 25 attempts, a very important aspect for the final score.
It seems that the curse continues for Vanoli Cremona. They reached the Seria playoffs three times after their 2008-2009 promotion and in all three cases, as in 2015-2016 and in 2017-2018 seasons, Venezia eliminated them, stopping the basketball team from Cremona to achieve their ultimate dream: to become a Seria A champions. We will see what will happen with Vanoli in the next season, but this season is one to remember for Cremona`s fans.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc