The week's big numbers: Reyer Venezia go 11-deep to defeat the 4,000-strong pack of Wolves
AVELLINO (FIBA Europe Cup) - The first leg of the FIBA Europe Cup all-Italian title clash between Sidigas Scandone Avellino and Umana Reyer Venezia was a firecracker, with the visiting team coming away with a clinical road win.
Walter De Raffaele's side triumphed in a tough atmosphere in Avellino thanks to all-around contributions from everyone who stepped on the court and not giving the 4,000-strong local crowd much to cheer about.
Like every week, we take a deep dive into the most interesting events of the game day, through the lens of numbers and look to get you up to speed with what took place.
It may have been the worst free-throw shooting night in Jason Rich's entire career. Although he finished the game with a solid 16-point, 4-rebound, 3-assist line and had a positive +/- rating against Venezia during his 33 minutes on the floor, Rich left 5 valuable points on the line, going just 2-of-7 from the charity stripe. In the Italian championship, he converts free throws at an 81.7 percent clip.
Jason Rich struggled mightily at the free-throw stripe
The most important number for both teams. The final scoreline of 77-69 in the first leg gave Reyer an eight point cushion that they will take back to Venice. In a week's time, Avellino will be chasing that exact margin with hopes of keeping their FIBA Europe Cup title aspirations alive on the return fixture.
Una solida Umana #Reyer #Venezia 🏀🦁 si impone al #PalaDelMauro di #Avellino portandosi avanti di 8️⃣ punti nella finale di #FIBAEuropeCup 🇪🇺! Mercoledì 02/05 ⏰ 20.30 ritorno al #Taliercio... vi aspettiamo 🤗🔥👊! #MatchReport ➡️ https://t.co/edhk1T0fAb#LaStoriaContinua pic.twitter.com/m9B5JFSaCS— Reyer Venezia (@REYER1872) April 25, 2018
Reyer Venezia playcaller Walter De Raffaele praised his team's all-around contribution for a reason in the post-game press conference. The only player that did not get off the bench was team captain Tomas Ress, but all other players logged double-digit minutes. What is more important, every single one of them got their name on the scoreboard. In the big picture, the 33-point bench contribution was particularly valuable, given the fact that Avellino's second unit finished with just 8 points.
Despite finishing the game with just 5 points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field, Maarten Leunen had a really productive performance in other areas of the game. He was the game's leading rebounder with 12 boards and also chipped in with 5 assists. He finished the night with an efficiency score of 18, the second best mark of the game.
Austin Daye probably would have had a chance to play more than 19 minutes today had he not gotten himself in foul trouble with a silly technical foul and a couple of unnecessary rule infringements early in the third quarter that glued him to the bench with four personal fouls. However, he used his limited time on the court well, scoring a game-high 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw stripe. He also added 4 rebounds and a pair of steals.
Austin Daye got himself a technical foul in the first half
Sidigas Avellino may be the top three-point shooting team in the Italian championship, but they had nothing falling for them from deep against Venezia. Having connected on just 4-of-20 attempts, the home side were missing shots left and right, short and long and their unusually poor shooting was the biggest letdown for coach Stefano Sacripanti. The only three players to connect from deep were Jason Rich, Dez Wells and Bruno Fitipaldo. On the other end of the floor, Reyer Venezia went 10-of-23 from three.
Kyrylo Fesenko had the best efficiency mark among all players with an overall efficiency score of 24 after collecting a game-high 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks. However, he collected 15 points in the first two quarters of play and was rather limited after Reyer Venezia came out with some defensive adjustments after the intermission.
People of Avellino showed up in numbers to witness their team's historic European title-decider, but Scandone could not make the most out of their emphatic home court advantage. The passionate crowd of 4,000 at times threatened to blow the roof off at the Palasport Giacomo Del Mauro, but were not enough to inspire a victorious start of the Final.