Will we have another final Virtus-Milano?

In Lega Basket Serie A, we are one step away from finding out the finalists of this edition, the semifinals which are the same as last year start on Saturday in a best-of-five system, at the end of these matches we will find out if we will have the final of the Euroleague teams or if there will be any surprise in the semifinals.

EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (1) – Banco di Sardegna Sassari (5)

A duel of the best Italian coaches, Ettore Messina the coach with the most playoff benches (121) and playoff victories (81) in history, he has coached 13 playoff semifinal series and on the other side, Piero Bucchi for whom this is the 8th semi-final. Milano won the regular season by winning 23 of the 30 matches, then moving into the quarters with 3-1 against those from Pesaro thanks to Euroleague players such as Shields, Melli, Napier, Hines, Baron, Datome or Voigtmann. Sassari finished the regular season with 17 wins and 13 losses, eliminating Reyer Venezia in the semifinals in the only surprise of the quarterfinals, losing the first match and winning the next 3 thanks to a collective effort, worth noting Ousmane Diop, a player born in 2000 with extremely good numbers: 10.4 pts, 5.4 reb, 130-200 from the 2-point line in just 19 minutes. Both matches this season were won by Milan, last year in the semifinals Milano prevailed 3-0, this year Sassari can once again claim a maximum one victory.

Virtus Segafredo Bologna (2) – Bertram Derthona Tortona (3)

The other Euroleague team from Italy, Virtus on paper seems to have a slightly more difficult mission. Virtus reached the semifinals after a show of strength with Brindisi, winning the series 3-0, in each match scoring at least 100 points. With an experienced team with players like Belinelli, Teodosic, Shengelia, Hacket, Jaiteh, Ojeleye, Mickey or Cordinier, Scariolo’s team looks like a monster at the end of the season, losing only one of the last 9 matches. Tortona had a hard life in the quarters, eliminating Trento 3-1 but the biggest final difference in the 4 matches was 3 points. Their player to watch is Semaj Christon (16.4 pts, 5.0 ast), but unfortunately, it is too little in front of a powerhouse. If in the championship they shared their victories in the semifinals of the cup, Virtus won with a difference of 25 points. I expect this series to be a short one, with Virtus to lose a maximum of one match.

Valentin Petruta

Photo: EuroLeague