the game that is worth the Scudetto. Because Olimpia is favorite over

the game that is worth the Scudetto.  Because Olimpia is favorite over

Of Flavio Vanetti

On Friday the play-off at the Assago Forum between the queens of the championship. The role of the public, the charisma of Melli and Datome, the plays of Napier and Shields push the Messina team, but the black Vs have more solutions and are waiting for the best Teodosic

Either it will be the 30th scudetto of Olimpia Milano, that of the third star, or the seventeenth of Virtus Bologna. In any case, the evening of Friday 23 June will be that of the verdict for the 101st Serie A championship (even if there are fewer titles awarded because the two were revoked in Siena and seasons either not completed, or not played, or not approved). First of all, here are the details of a playoff that is the mother of all Italian matches and absolutely one of the most interesting matches of the basketball season: the appointment for 20.30 at the Mediolanum Forum in Assago, a system that will be sold out. Those who have not been able to find the ticket will be able to follow race-7 live free-to-air TV on Nove (Digital Terrestrial channel 9) and pay TV on Eurosport 1 HD. On the streaming front, however, the options are, Discovery+,, SkyGO, Now TV, Eleven Sports, Dazn.

Playoff in the playoff

Attending the third consecutive Milan-Bologna final is equivalent to reliving the great boxing matches of half a century and more ago, such as the Benvenuti-Griffith and Ali-Frazier trilogies of the 60s and 70s. Two seasons ago Virtus Segafredo blew up EA7's home advantage and imposed a striking coat on her; in the last one, however, the roles were reversed and it was Olimpia who won 4-0, anesthetizing the advantage situation of the Emilians, first in the regular season. So this is a playoff within the playoff, again with Milan being able to play the match without returning to the friendly field. And as in those boxing matches mentioned, there will be those who break the balance and go up 2-1. Then new pages will open, with the Euroleague at the center of the programs of both teams. Game 7 could mark Sergio Scariolo's farewell to Virtus: his return to Real Madrid, European champion but defeated by Barcelona in the Spanish league, seems very probable.

Race-7 a non-place

Game 7 — Italy has decided to conform to the NBA format for the final, but not everyone in Europe follows it — not a rarity in our Serie A. In 2019 Reyer Venezia had made it hers to beat Sassari at the time coached by Gianmarco Pozzecco, but in the two previous seasons the turnaround had taken place: in 2015, in fact, Sassari had won in Reggio Emilia (after having made the coup against Milan, also that time in the best of 7 matches before the semifinals were shortened); instead in 2014 it was Olimpia's turn to win in extremis, after going down 3-2 with Siena and having righted the fortunes in game 6 with the famous Curtiss Jerrell's hoop, an indispensable preamble to be able to close the accounts at the Forum . In short, this explains that race-7 basically a non-place, in which the field factor is not the decisive element.

Because Milan will win

At a guess, the atmosphere of the Forum will still have its weight, above all to help those who played badly in game 6 regain consistency: first of all, let's talk about Napierhe is fluctuating and perhaps struggling, on a physical level, with the long wave of almost a year and a half of inactivity (consequence of an accident when he was in St. Petersburg). Then assuming that shields I'll go back to loud voice like in race 5 and what Voigtmann And Baron will be offensive factors, the team will rediscover its offensive certainties, said that the defensive phase cannot be secondary. Ettore Messina in game 5 asked the team to run and attack Bologna more in his area: the result was very effective. For there were no replies in race 6, so theEA7 will first of all have to recover self-confidence and, around the charismatic figure of Melli and the far from marginal role of Datome, must have more from praetorians like Hall and Hines. Messina has focused from the beginning on clear choices and precise men of reference (a national team such as Tonut, so to speak, has been almost unused and had at most tactical tasks): it is difficult to think that the coach will change, even if we think that precisely the former Venetian, due to its physical solidity, could be used in the marking of the Cordinier bull. In any case, Milan deserves to be considered as having an advantage: we give them 55% of the chances for the Scudetto.

Why Bologna will win

The field factor is important but, we said, not decisive. On the contrary, if Milan fails to channel the match immediately, it could prove to be a multiplier of tension and nervousness for the red and whites. Virtus Segafredo could wedge themselves into this potential destabilizing scenario: they will be in a position to play with the courage and audacity of those who try, knowing that this playoff weighs less on their shoulders (but only a little less, mind you). Bologna uses the bench much more and seems to have more solutions available. But I'll have to keep up with the long Jaiteh and Mickey, swinging and sometimes butterfly, and recover Teodosic's inspiration (farewell, it seems, to move to the Red Star): the Serbian leader is arguing with the basket and is making mistakes that are not usual for him. Finally, Segafredo's chances will be directly proportional to the performance of two cardinal figures (Hackettauthor of proofs from Mvp, e Belinellithe armed hand of the black-V), from the sacrifices of Pajolafrom the energies that Shengelia he will still be able to spend, and how much Ojeleye will be able to affect, both in shooting and in long support. Virtus remains the challenger who must unstitch the Scudetto in Milan: 45% chance of making it, but it could be a false fact.

June 22, 2023 (change June 22, 2023 | 17:09)

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