Bologna, June 19, 2022 – It is useless to deny that no one likes to lose, doing so against the fierce rival Milan even more so, and it is clear that it is logical that in the house Virtueyes, the day after you have a person final shieldthat there is the bitterness of having let out of your hands a trophy that could be yours.
In view of this, it is equally logical to state that the season of Virtus that goes to the archive was decidedly positive for the victory of the Super Cup and especially for the triumph in Euro which is worth participating in the next edition of Euroleague.
The beggining – In the regular season the start is between highs and lows, with a team looking for their identity. Due to the injuries of Udoh and Abass and the physical problems of some elements, they see first Mannion forced to skip the whole first part of the season, in the house Virtus they resort to the market with the arrivals of Sampson and Cordinier and with Scariolo he had to work a little at first to amalgamate a renewed group.
Super Cup – The first trophy arrives in the Super Cup, lifted by Belinelli and his teammates when they beat Milan in the final by 90-84 in what will be a duel that will be repeated throughout the season.
Season – The path of the Bianconeri is advancing rapidly in both the league and the European Championship between many highs and some lows. At home, PalaDozza and Segafredo Arena become the stronghold of the Bianconeri, who, on the other hand, are a little lame on the road, also thanks to the psychophysical fatigue of the double commitment.
Italian Cup – The first diversion of the season for Juventus reaches the final eight of the Italian Cup. Virtus eliminated Brindisi in the quarter-finals 93-81, but surrendered 82-94 to the terrible Tortona, who had already won the championship. There is no drama, but a crackdown comes to put the situation back in line with Scariolo and his staff still forced to deal with absences and injuries, but they decided to change the situation.
Hackett and Shengelia – The final turning point of the season, however, still comes from the market. Thanks to the Ukrainian war and the suspension of the Russian national team, first Daniel Hackett and then Toko Shengelia arrive in black and white.
His arrival coincides, not in vain, with the change of skin of Virtus. The two players with experience, quality and physique in the EuroLega make Juventus’ defense grow exponentially, keeping the offensive high. Virtus regains all its elements and changes pace in the league where it closes the regular season before the EuroCup where it closes fourth in its group.
Euro – Scariolo’s team achieves its masterpiece in the second phase of the knockout competition. It starts in the round of 16 with the internal success by 75-67 against Lietkabelis, continues with the internal in the quarterfinals with the Ulm 83-77, while the apotheosis is the victory in the semifinal in Valencia 73- 83. The Bianconeri are in the final and will also play at home as on the other side of the board the surprise Bursaspor that always eliminates outside the Partizan Belgrade, Olimpia Lubiana and Andorra. On May 11, the weather in the Segafredo Arena is very hot, Belinelli and his teammates pushed by his audience leave no chance to the disadvantaged Turks, an honor for them for the splendid trip, and in front of 10,000 fans raise the European Championship. .
With this success, the goal is achieved, Virtus returns to the EuroLega from the front door, but as Scariolo himself points out on the day of the celebration in Piazza Maggiore, after having traveled Bologna in an open bus with a lively crowd to perform. as a splendid scheme, there is still a championship to play and honor.
Playoffs – The team arrives at the end of the season with excitement but certainly less brilliant mentally but even more physically. The series with Pesaro in the quarterfinals and with Tortona in the semifinals, however, confirmed the solidity of the Bolognese who with a clear double 3-0 eliminated the marks and the Piedmontese and reach the final, needless to say with Milan.
Arbitration controversy erupts, with statements, statements and countercommunications between Virtus and Milan and vitriolic words even between the protagonists themselves.
On the pitch he plays with a EuroLega physique rather than a championship and Milan, more accustomed to certain types of battles and physically better, immediately make their 1-game at the Segafredo Arena in a challenge that will probably will be decisive for the series. Virtus at home again tied the score at 1-1. The series moves to the Mediolanum Forum in Assago where Armani slips the 1-2 that pulls three-quarters of the Scudetto out of the black and white shirts.
Back in Bologna for game-5, a tired but determined Virtus prevails and shortens the distance to 3-2. Last night the final match-6, with Belinelli and his teammates holding on, more with determination than physical energy, for a while before collapsing in the second half under the blows of a Milan that legitimizes the victory of the Scudetto.