Virtus won its first-ever 7DAYS EuroCup title, but it wasn't easy. Despite Virtus leading almost all the way, Frutti Extra Bursaspor got within 64-59 early in the fourth quarter. In the final 7 minutes, however, Birtus outhustled its opponent, led by EuroCup MVP Mam Jaiteh and Kyle Weems.
Jaiteh, Weems provided late answers for Virtus
Once Bursaspor made it a five-point game, Virtus head coach Sergio Scariolo called timeout and one of the key plays of the game took place. Marco Belinelli missed from downtown, Kevin Hervey grabbed a long rebound and shot the ball straight away, but missed. Belinelli gave Virtus a third chance to score and Hervey downed a critical jumper. After an offensive rebound allowed Jaiteh to score around the basket, Shengelia soon added a big basket off the baseline for a 70-60 Virtus lead.
As always in the second part of the season, Bursaspor fought until the end, staying within 76-67 with 3 minutes left. Metin Turen missed a wide-open three-point shot, Jaiteh grabbed the rebound and soon got the ball back from Milos Teodosic to throw it down. Virtus needed stops in key moments and Weems provided them with a couple of critical blocks on Andrew Andrews. The second one, a wild chase-down block off the glass, allowed Teodosic to score at the other end and seal the outcome, 80-67. In fact, neither team scored after that, so the outcome was completely sealed.
Jaiteh finished the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Weems had 13 points, 4 rebounds and a career-high 4 blocks, which also tied for the second-most ever in the finals. Until now, Weems had 29 blocks in 79 EuroCup career games, but just like Jaiteh, he stepped up at the right time.
"We had some ups and downs in the game, but we always respected them and we knew that until the clock stopped, we couldn't relax," Jaiteh said. "So we're very proud. Very happy. I have no words; I'm just truly happy. I hope this feeling lasts forever."