Skip to content

Virtus Bologna by Isaïa Cordinier and Mam’ Jaiteh wins the EuroCup!

It is certainly not the celebration that Mouhammadou Jaiteh had envisioned. But maybe that’s the price to pay when you’re MVP. After respecting tradition all the same by pouring tens of liters of water on Sergio Scariolo himself, the Ile-de-France pivot found himself stuck for long minutes at the anti-doping control. Surely the opportunity to come down somewhat from his cloud, he who was in a state of absolute bliss a few moments before. “It’s an incredible feeling,” he exclaimed. “It can’t get any better than that. It will take me a few days to realize because I am unable to do it there. I am so proud, so happy. I have no words, I’m just deeply happy. I hope this feeling will last forever. »

The stands are shaking… literally

A legitimate joy because Virtus Bologna was simply playing the fate of its season over 40 minutes. Nine months of work for a single evening. Wanting to return to the EuroLeague for several years, the legendary Italian club has finally achieved its goals. And some were waiting for this moment more than others… Returning from the NBA to restore Virtus to its former glory in 2019, Milos Teodosic imagined reintegrating the gratin of Europe in a short year. Covid and then UNICS Kazan changed his plans. So, with his quest finally at his fingertips, the magician pulled out his finest tricks by writing a new golden page in his legendary career. A crazy sequence, in particular, in the third quarter, with two winning shots in a row which almost knocked out Bursaspor (58-43, 27th minute) and literally shook the temporary stands of the boiling Segafredo Arena (9,700 spectators). Next to us, a firefighter, mischievous, pretended to implore the sky so that the structure does not find itself overthrown by the din of the Bolognese people.


Milos Teodosic was voted Finals MVP
(photo: Matteo Marchi)

In the lead for 39 minutes, after David Dudzinski’s initial basket (0-2), Virtus Bologna could have paid a high price for the latent false rhythm of the meeting, long haunted by faults. Ultra-dominant in all areas of the game against a feverish Turkish team, not particularly ready to play from the start and affected by fouls (3 for Kevarrius Hayes at half-time and even 4 in 6 minutes for his master to play Derek Needham), the Transalpins have never managed to widen the gap. When returning to the locker room, the score (41-31) gave hope to Bursaspor, in an ideal ambush situation after having been completely non-existent (37-1 at the evaluation at the end of the first quarter- weather).

Except that after defeating Partizan Belgrade, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana and Andorra on the road, Dusan Alimpijevic’s men had lost their mojo, this offensive strike force that knocked down all the big guys. This time, the Big Three Derek Needham (0 evaluation) – Andrew Andrews (6 points at 1/7) – John Holland (10 points at 2/7). But the unexpected Onuralp Bitim – David Dudzinkski duo symbolized the qualities of resilience of Bursaspor, recovered from the madness of Milos Teodosic and perfectly back in the game (64-59, 32nd minute).

The money-time, the time of MVP Jaoteh

Except that in Bologna, if it’s not one, it’s the other. After three particularly frustrating quarters (4 points at 2/7 and 1 evaluation), passed to put on the faults (3 at halftime) and to see his efforts in offensive rebounds (4 at the break) being wasted by a capricious circle, Mam’ Jaiteh donned the MVP costume for money-time. In the closet with shaking hands, the former interior of JSF Nanterre regained the incredible efficiency that characterized him all year to finish in double-double (13 points at 6/13 and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes) and, above all, definitively win Bursaspor (80-67, final score).

virtus-bologna1652309030.webp
A new image in the legend of Basket City…
(photo: EuroCup)

The beginnings of an evening of celebration in Basket City where horns and explosions have been heard since 11 p.m. in town. As if to better celebrate the awakening of the sleeping giant… Six years after being relegated to the Italian second division, Virtus Bologna is back where it should be: in the EuroLeague. “It’s gratifying to write a historic page for the club”, savored an ecstatic Isaïa Cordinier, with already a few scents of champagne, winner of the first trophy of his career after 13 personal minutes of great defensive contribution. “No, I played like shit but I don’t care,” he burst out laughing. The day before, he told us that a final was not played but that it was won. Word kept. And what’s more, he could go and celebrate without anti-doping control afterwards…

In Bologna,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.