Bologna stifle San Lorenzo to book spot in Final
TENERIFE (Spain) - Segafredo Virtus Bologna prevailed 75-57 over San Lorenzo de Almagro in a physical battle that delighted fans of grit-and-grind basketball in the first Semi-Final of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup 2020 and will play in Sunday's Final.
An Alessandro Pajola jumper with 2:54 remaining in the opening quarter gave the 2019 Basketball Champions League champions their first double-digit lead, 19-8.
With 1:52 left to play in the first half, Dar Tucker drilled a corner three, drew the foul and sunk his free-throw to convert the four-point play, reducing the deficit to 27-23.
The reigning DIRECTV Liga de las Americas champions got a stop on defense and Facundo Piñero became the first San Lorenzo player not named Tucker to hit a triple, bringing the gap down to one point.
The Italian side went to the locker-rooms at the break leading only by four, 31-27, but they started off the second half on an 8-1 run and a Stefan Markovic layup in transition pushed the gap back to double-digits, 39-28 with 6:40 remaining in the third period.
San Lorenzo are physical but not enough to outmuscle Bologna and this forced the Argentinian team to take shots far from the rim and outside their comfort range.
The Argentinian side scored only 24 points in the paint and shot only .33 percent from the floor. This lack of offensive sparkle eliminated any hopes san Lorenzo could have of a late comeback.
"They didn't let us take good shots, they didn't let us get good spacing," said San Lorenzo head coach Nestor Garcia.
"They started aggressively the second half and we could not score. They are very physical, they are very athletic, and in the end the biggest difference was the speed of execution. I coached in Europe for two years and I knew this is the biggest factor."
Vince Hunter came off the bench and made a big impact with his defensive effort, fighting for loose balls and protecting the rim. He also scored 16 points and added 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 assist in just 16 minutes of play.
He got a lot of help from Giampaolo Ricci who collected a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, adding 1 steal. Dar Tucker finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in a losing effort.
Virtus star point guard Milos Teodosic sat out the game as he is nursing an injury and will be reassessed before Sunday's final.