The three-year quest for glory of Virtus Segafredo Bologna ended in the ultimate triumph on Wednesday with the leader of that quest, veteran point guard Milos Teodosic, voted by attending media as the MVP of the 7DAYS EuroCup Final before an adoring home crowd in Basket City.
Milos Teodosic voted EuroCup Final MVP!
Teodosic was the man of the moment from right after tip-off, when he fired in his first shot of the night from three-point distance, until Virtus had wrapped its arms around the trophy with an 80-67 victory over visiting Frutti Extra Bursaspor of Turkey.
Teodosic would score 8 of his floor-high 21 points in that first quarter, which Virtus won 25-12, a margin that ended up mirroring the final score. Bursaspor matched the hosts through the final three quarters but could not overcome the hot start of Virtus. Teodosic made sure of that with 8 more points in the third quarter, including a pair of three-pointers in less than a minute that ran the difference to a high of 58-43. When Bursaspor drew within 75-67 with 3 minutes left to play, Teodosic returned to the court to dish his third and last assist and make his fourth two-pointer in as many tries, which proved to be the game's final basket.
The 35-year-old former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion and MVP will now have a chance to return to Europe's premier club competition for the first time since 2017. It will be the first time Virtus plays in the EuroLeague since 2008.
"Last year when we lost the semifinal, that hurt us. And this season, in the beginning, we were struggling with COVID and a lot of injuries. I believe this is the first game in the season that we have everyone healthy," Teodosic said after the victory. "So, we really improved during the season and in the crucial moments of the season we started playing really as a team, defensively and offensively. That Danny [Hackett] and Toko [Shengelia] came to the team also helped us a lot. So, I am really proud of the last two-and-a-half or three years here. We were improving every year. I believe this is the result of the improvement of the last three years since I came, and I hope that we are going to keep improving."
The EuroCup Finals MVP honor is another in a long list of accolades for Teodosic, most of them in the EuroLeague, where he was a six-time All-EuroLeague selection and named to that competition's All-Decade Team for 2010 to 2020. With Virtus, he has been the EuroCup Regular Season MVP in each of the last two seasons, and in both cases was a member of the All-EuroCup First Team. Last season, he led Virtus to its first Italian League title in 20 years.