A strong start and an even better finish paved the way for Virtus Segafredo Bologna to claim the 2021-22 7DAYS EuroCup crown and earn the right to be in the 2022-23 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Telling numbers: Virtus started and finished strong
Virtus used an outstanding first quarter to take a double-digit lead, 25-12, and never trailed after that. Virtus made 5 of 10 two-pointers (50%) and 3 of 5 three-pointers (60%) in the opening 10 minutes while holding Bursaspor to much lower percentages (33.3% 2FG, 28.6% 3FG). Virtus also outrebounded its opponent 11-5, including 5 offensive boards, and collected 5 steals. Bursaspor finished the first quarter with 7 turnovers and no steals. All that led to a remarkable difference in the teams' numbers; Virtus had a PIR of 37 after one quarter and Bursaspor only had a PIR of 1.
Marko Belinelli made the difference with 7 unanswered points late in the first quarter. Bursaspor did not leave the game and rallied to within 64-59 early in the fourth quarter. In the end, Virtus's hustle and deeper bench paid off. The visitors finished the game with 13 bench points - 10 from John Holland and a triple by Omer Utku Al. Three Virtus bench players - Jakarr Sampson, Belinelli and Kevin Hervey - combined for 27 points.
The difference in turnovers was not that great, but what they did with them was. Bursaspor finished the game with 14 turnovers and Virtus with 10. However, Bursaspor only had 2 steals and Virtus had 8. The home team turned Bursaspor's 14 turnovers into 24 points and the visitors cashed in only 7 points from Virtus's turnovers. Nine different players combined for 22 Virtus assists led by Alessandro Pajola with 6. No Bursaspor player had more than 3 assists and the team compiled just 11.
Virtus outrebounded Bursaspor by 44-30, including 17 offensive rebounds. The hosts scored 17 second-chance points, which were 11 more than Bursaspor. The visitors only grabbed 56.4% of the rebounds under their own rim. On the other side of the floor, Virtus pulled down 77.1% of all boards under its basket.