The Italian Serie A ushered in the 2015-16 season with six of the eight games for Round 1 last night and there was a ton of exciting basketball action for fans to enjoy. The two remaining games left in the round are between Auxilium Torino and Grissin Bon Reggio Emila, which will take place tonight. The round will be closed out with the game between EA7 Emporio Armani Milano and Dolomiti Energia Torino, which is scheduled on October 8th.
Banco di Sardegna Sassari vs. Vanoli Cremona, 97-90 (OT)
Defending champions, Banco di Sardegna Sassari got off on the right foot with a win over Vanoli Cremona. The victory was not handed to them on a silver platter though, and Sassari needed an extra period to seal the 97-90 win. Excellent three-point shooting was the key factor for them in this affair. Veteran David Logan (photo above) led Banco di Sardegna with a game-high 24 points. He knocked down four of his eight shot attempts from beyond the three point arc. Joe Alexander put up a double-double performance for Sassari with 21 points of his own as well as 10 rebounds. Vanoli Cremona came at them with a balanced attack seeing five of their players score in double figures. Vanoli Cremona was coming off a preseason high, defeating AV Cantu for Trofeo Lombardia. Fabio Mian was their top scorer with 17 points.
Obiettivo Lavoro Bologna vs. Umana Reyer Venezia, 69-65
Dexter Pittman was a dominant force in the paint for Bologna in this game. He was one rebound shy of notching a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds. He was virtually unstoppable, making 7-of-10 shots from two-point range as well all of his shots from the free-throw line (5-5). He paced four other starters in double figure scoring. Bologna stayed aggressive throughout the game and were rewarded with several trips to the line which they converted 15-of-17. Venezia led for most of the game. Bologna needed a huge fourth quarter to come from behind and snatch away the win. They outscored their visitors 22-11 in the final frame.
Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia vs. Enel Brindisi, 85-78
This game was initially a back-and-forth affair, with Pistoia setting up an eight point lead at the end of the first quarter, only to have Enel Brindisi storm back in the second frame to seize control and enter halftime with a four-point advantage in their favor. After the break Giorgio Tesi Group bounced back and then just like that, the game boiled down to final period with the home team trailing just by one point. Pistoia finished the game strong on some inspired play. The protagonist for them in this chapter was Alex Kirk, who was a beast 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocked shots.
Openjobmetis Varese vs. Pasta Reggia JuveCaserta, 51-58
This wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch as both teams had difficulty getting into any kind of rhythm, let alone finding their shot, resulting in the low-scoring ball game. Varese was the more active team on the defensive end, but they failed to convert their stops into points of their own. Malik Wayns led them with a game-high 18 points, but his support from the bench was not enough to cover up JuveCaserta’s effort. Robert Jones stepped up for JuveCaserta with his 16 points. He nailed 3-of-6 shots from deep.
Scandone Avellino vs. Consultinvest VL Pesaro, 77-73
Scandone Avellino’s starters put up a strong effort and were rewarded with the win. The team had to overcome a strong individual performance by Pesaro’s Shaquielle McKissic who compiled 29 points and 10 rebounds. McKissic caught fire from long range and bombarded Avellino with five three-pointers. Unfortunately, teammate Semaj Christon was his only real support with 17 points. The rest of Pesaro could not get their game going at all. Avellino had a more balanced attack and it paid off for them in the end. James Nunnally paced his team with 20 points and five rebounds. Avellino had a strong start in the first frame and did just enough in the final period to stave off Pesaro’s run at their lead and were able to hold on for the win.
Betaland Capo d’Orlando vs. Acqua Vitasnella Cantu, 73-65
Cantu started the game strong and set up a 20-24 lead at the end of the first quarter. After that however, it was all Capo d’Orlando all the way. Cantu was limited to just 12 points in the second frame, allowing Capo d’Orlando to take control of the game. A huge credit must go to the defensive intensity displayed by the Capo d’Orlando squad. They ground out the win on solid defense coupled with some aggressiveness in the paint. Simas Jasaitis paced Capo d’Orlando with a game-high 17 points and six rebounds. He was their most accurate threat from deep, nailing 3-of-8 shots from downtown.