This game had already a long history because the location was changed from Istanbul to Belgrade due to Turkish government concerns about a possible Coronavirus outbreak. I think this is helping Segafredo Virtus Bologna even more to hammer Darussafaka. But let’s rather see the most important arguments for the Italian win:
- Virtus Bologna has by far the biggest budget in the entire competition and more money than some Euroleague teams. They have big ambitions for this season and I think that only Partizan Belgrade can steal them the Eurocup title. Virtus Bologna missed already the Italian Cup trophy, but they are on the first spot in Italy. Losing the qualifiers from this group in front of an average Turkish squad will be a disaster for the richest team of the Eurocup. Let’s remember that Virtus Bologna has switched the competitions in the summer, coming from Basketball Champions League where they were the reigning champions choosing Eurocup. That’s why I don’t believe they will stop at this level of the competition.
- The Italian team can use in the Eurocup a larger rotation than in Italy (where they have the limit of only 6 foreigners), that’s why they have an important advantage over Darussafaka. The Turkish team played the last games with only 4 foreigners, but they have some decent Turks in the roster, who were part of the team for the last seasons. They have chemistry but this won’t be enough to top Milos Teodosic, Vince Hunter, Stefan Markovic, Kyle Weems, Frank Gaines, Julian Gamble, Devyn Marble, Delia Marcos and the other experienced fellows of Virtus.
- Even if the game will be played behind closed doors, being in Belgrade will be a psychological factor for the Serbian trio: coach Sasha Djordjevic, Milos Teodosic and Stefan Markovic, who knows perfectly Stark Arena, where they have sweets memories.
The only problem could be the motivation to win because Virtus Bologna knows already that they will be part of the Euroleague next season even if they don’t enter the Eurocup finals. They are Euroleague’s friends and that’s enough. So, why do they need to win it on the court?