ANDhe first pre-season test of Baskonia 2021-2022 was resolved with a tight victory in the Cagliari City Tournament against Basket Napoli, a team recently promoted to the Italian first division, but which put Ivanovic’s men in a lot of trouble in the second half . After building a 17-point lead (31-48) shortly after intermission, Baskonia got to see the Italians take the lead (65-64) midway through the fourth quarter. A better defense, 4 consecutive points from Baldwin IV and the cold blood of Granger and Giedraitis in the last seconds ended up deciding the triumph of the Basque team’s side, which will face the winner of the other semifinal between Dinamo de Sassary and Bayern Munich this coming Saturday. Alec Peters, with 16 points, and Landry Nnoko, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and a PIR of 17, were the best for Baskonia.

The Cameroonian pivot was the main protagonist at the start of the crash, scoring the first 8 points for his team and showing great activity on the rebound. Their work, along with the aim of Giedraitis and Peters, allowed Baskonia to close the first quarter with a 6-point lead (16-22). In the Neapolitan ranks, only Jason Rich scored with some continuity, due in large part to the good external defense of the Vitoria players. Good minutes by Enoch, with two blocks and two baskets at the edge of the break, preceded a triple by Giedraitis that left Baskonia’s lead by 15 points (31-46) in the intermission.

In the resumption, Baldwin placed a +17 for the visitors, but Sacripanti’s men did not get off the boat thanks to the impetus of a former Unicaja -Frank Elegar- and a more aggressive defense, leaving Baskonia 4 minutes without scoring (40-48 , min.24). A triple by Peters and Granger’s return to court calmed down the Barça attack, recovering sensations and the seventeen advantage after Marinkovic’s scoring debut with a 2 + 1 (44-61). The game, however, was not over, and McDuffie took it upon himself to remind Dusko’s.

A 3 + 1 of his just opening the last period culminated a 10-0 run for the Neapolitans, who even got ahead (65-64) 5 minutes from the end of the match. The tactic of playing without a pure “five”, with Sedekerskis and Peters together in the paint, did not work well for Ivanovic, who had to turn to Nnoko again. With the game in a handkerchief, Baskonia decided to use two bases simultaneously and take advantage of the stripes of Giedraitis, Peters and Baldwin IV to take the initiative on the scoreboard and enter the last minute winning by 4 (69-73). A missed triple by McDuffie, which would have tied the game, was the last bullet for a Napoli that was finally sentenced by the free throws of Granger and Giedraitis.

Data sheet:

Basket Napoli 70 (16 + 15 + 19 + 20): McDuffie (15), Velicka (2), Parks (7), Elegar (14), Rich (7) -the starting five-, Zerini (4), Marini (3), Mayo (8), Uglietti (0), Lombardi (10)

Baskonia 75 (22 + 24 + 15 + 14): Sedekerskis (2), Granger (8), Giedraitis (14), Nnoko (13), Kurucs (0) -initial quintet-, Baldwin IV (10), Marinkovic (3), Fontecchio (0), Enoch (9), Peters (16)