As the race for the playoffs in the Italian Serie A tightens with the passing of each remaining game, for several teams every win and/or every loss matters greatly. The last game of Round 28 of regular season action was one such example. Umana Reyer Venezia made a successful home stand and defeated Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia 74-68. Both clubs are fighting tooth and nail to secure a coveted Top 8 spot. The game result has both teams tied at 14-14, but because of tiebreakers, Umana Venezia moves up to seventh place in the standings, bumping down Giorgio Tesi Group to the eighth spot. Openjobmetis Varese came away with a 70-79 road win over Vanoli Cremona the other day and is in ninth place with their 13-15 slate.
With the last two spots up for grabs every edge is valuable, every advantage is important. Umana Venezia made a significant step towards seeing their playoff aspirations come to fruition.
The visitors seized an early 14-18 advantage at the end of the first frame, but Umana Venezia replied with a spirited rally in the second quarter. With the momentum swinging in their favor, the hosts managed to establish a five-point cushion as both teams headed to their locker rooms for the halftime break.
The second half proved to be exciting as both teams showed how important this win was for them. Both teams struggled with their outside shooting in this game and it was at the free-throw line that the red shirts were able to gain their edge. It was back-and-forth throughout the third period and most of the fourth quarter, but Umana Venezia ground out the win and now took a step towards a playoff berth.
Many of Umana Venezia’s players were involved in the offense, but the top scorer for the team this night was Stefano Tonut who chipped in 16 points. Alex Kirk and Ariel Filloy led Giorgio Tesi Group with 16 points each.