Prentiss Hubb and Kamar Baldwin came up big for the Italian side after the break.
Coach Galbiati’s halftime speech inspired Trento to third straight win
Dolomiti Energia Trento started well against Slask Wroclaw on Wednesday night and took a narrow 16-19 lead into the second quarter. However, the Polish hosts reacted and outscored the visitors 23-17 to take a 39-36 edge into the second half.
Kendale McCullum had already scored 9 first-half points on his Slask debut in the BKT EuroCup, while Dusan Miletic had paired his 10 points with 7 rebounds. Everything indicated that the ‘new head coach bounce’ had worked its magic for Slask, as Jacek Winnicki was coaching his first game after replacing Oliver Vidin.
However, Trento has already proved this season that its players have a bounce-back mentality engraved in their hearts. The Italian side lost its first three games in the competition, meaning its losing run extended to 24 games, but it has been a very different team since then.
Trento is on a roll
After beating Slask 75-84 in Poland, Trento is now on a three-game winning streak and has moved into the playoff places. On the road at Hala Orbita, Slask’s arena, Trento dug deep, changed its mindset at halftime and then proceeded to turn the game around in the second half.
What was the cause for Trento’s comeback? A speech from head coach Paolo Galbiati, who gave his players a boost in morale during the intermission.
“We feel good,” forward Davide Alviti said after the game. “It’s never easy to win on the road. They are a very good team. We struggled a little bit in the first half, but then after our coach’s speech in the locker room, we came back. I think we made too many turnovers. We have to work on [this]. But I think that in the end we played a solid game.”
Alviti was Trento’s most consistent performer on the night, finishing with 15 points after going 3-for-3 from inside the arc, 2-for-4 on triples and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He also paired his 5 rebounds with 3 assists and 2 steals for a team-high PIR of 25.
Two players helped see Trento over the line
However, the players who practically clinched Trento’s second road victory in a row were Prentiss Hubb and Kamar Baldwin, even though both of them struggled in the first half.
Hubb registered 3 turnovers and went 0-for-4 from downtown before the interval. He scored just 4 first-half points, yet he ended the contest with 15. Hubb sank some crucial baskets that inspired his team to a 0-12 run in the third quarter, before drilling a dagger three-pointer that gave Trento a 75-82 lead and effectively finished the game off with 00:44 left on the clock.
“We were not so brilliant, but this was because of Slask,” Coach Galbiati said during the post-game press conference. “They played well on defense to stop our flow and at the end of the game we were able to win it because of the talents of our players.”
As for Baldwin, the Trento guard scored just 3 points in the first half but finished the game with a team-high 17. Baldwin had 7 points 4 minutes into the fourth quarter, then he netted some crucial baskets to seal the victory.
A tough triple was followed by a layup in traffic and then a fade-away jumper, which made it 72-78 with less than 3 minutes remaining. Baldwin also made 3 free throws in crunch time to put the game to bed.
After disputing two games on the road, Trento returns to the Il T Quotidiano Arena, where it will face the 5-1 U-BT Cluj-Napoca next Wednesday. Given the way that Coach Galbiati has his team playing, you wouldn’t bet against Trento extending its winning streak to four games.