Montepaschi Siena retains Serie A
Montepaschi Siena have made it seven Italian Serie A titles in a row after defeating Acea Virtus Roma 63-79 on the road to once again be crowned champions of Italian Basketball. After finishing the Regular Season in fifth spot, many doubted whether Montepaschi would be able to once again defend the Serie A crown, but Basketball success once again returns to Siena.
During the play offs the players and the team have responded emphatically, and the finals series has been no different, with tonight’s victory sealing the series and the title by 4 games to 1. Once again Montepaschi is the king of Italian Basketball, bringing home the title for the seventh year in a row and eighth time overall.
Over the first four games of the series Montepaschi had proved there was a gulf in class between them and their opponents Virtus Roma. Heading into this encounter, the Roma players were on a damage limitation mission as the series already looked out of reach at 3-1 in Montepaschi’s favour. And the reigning champions were in no mood to be lenient and it was obvious from the tip-off that the team from Siena was in control.
The first ten minutes proved low scoring as both teams used the first quarter to find their feet. However, Montepaschi put fifteen points on the board and restricted Virtus Roma to 13 to take a 2 point lead into the first interval. The second quarter proved to be the one where Roma put up a fight, with the two teams going blow for blow at the hoop, and a spirited quarter from the home team ended with the scores tied at the midway buzzer 33-33.
Half-time obviously woke the Montepaschi Siena players up as they emerged for the second period in full flight, and during the third quarter the team reeled off 27 points. The Roma players could muster little in response and it was this explosive passage of the game that more or less secured the title for Montepaschi, the team opening up a 13 point lead heading into the fourth.
Despite Virtus Roma rallying somewhat in the fourth by reducing the lead to 8, the Montepaschi team stayed calm and kept the scoring pressure on their opponents. With the clock winding down it proved a comfortable finale to the game and indeed to the season, while Montepaschi can once again celebrate being the best in Italy.
Bobby Brown (188 cm, CS Fullerton’07) was the high scorer for Montepaschi with 18, but the game proved to be a team effort with points distributed fairly evenly. That meant Roma center Gani Lawal (205 cm, Georgia Tech’10) could emerge as the star of the game, securing 20 points and 9 rebounds to cap a fine personal performance.
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