Olimpia Milano wins the opening match of the LBA Finals 2023 with a great second half and thanks to the plays of Davon Hall and Shabazz Napier. Virtus Bologna starts strong reaching +10 in the first quarter and in the second quarter but Olimpia always holds on to the game and in the second half places the paw which is worth Game 1 of the championship final.
It ends 92-82.
Virtus Bologna starts very strong and flies on 8-0 with Messina who has to call timeout after less than three minutes of play. Belinelli shoots the 10-0 basket. Milan unlocks with Shabazz Napier who scores from three and is fouled by Daniel Hackett causing the Forum to explode with joy: 10-4. Belinelli capitalizes on only two of the three free throws available and Virtus flies to 12-4. Baron scores for Milan, Cordinier makes 2/2 from the line and Bologna is 14-6 after 5 minutes. Virtus Bologna continues to go to the line but also to make mistakes: Shengelia scores the new +10 (16-6). Olimpia Milano shakes but Teodosic’s triple puts VuNere back on +10 (19-9). Datome first and Shields then put Olimpia back on -6 (19-13). Again Datome scores -4 with one minute to play. And Datome still from the arc scores the -1 with Teodosic for half action on the ground. The fourth ends with a triple from Napier on 21-19 Olimpia.
Virtus Bologna equalized in the opening of the second quarter through Mickey. Milan remains dry for three minutes and Virtus puts the arrow back with Teodosic’s three free throws on 24-21. Olimpia draws with Napier but Segafredo immediately puts the arrow back for 26-24. Napier misses from the arc which Teodosic doesn’t do who punishes the Olimpia defense for the 29-24 which forces Messina to time out. Shields gets the defender drunk and scores -3. Messina takes a technical foul but Teodosic misses the free throw. 32-26 Virtus with 4:44 to play in the first half. Napier scores an incredible table triple from the corner for -3 (32-29). Shields with another great basket brings Milan back to within 3 (34-31). Virtus still scores 36-31 from the line with 2:49 to play. Virtus scores again from the line on 39-31. New +10 from Virtus but Devon Hall from the arc makes the triple of 41-34 and Hines scores the -5 with Scariolo who calls timeout. Belinelli scores the triple for 44-36.
Olimpia Milano opens the fourth with Voigtmann’s triple of -5. But Virtus replies with Teodosic always from three. After 4 minutes of the third quarter Virtus is still ahead by 6. But Olimpia Milano remains attached to the game and with Napier they get back to within 3 (51-48). Shengelia finds a highway and backs the +5. Voigtmann still from the arc finds the -2 bomb (53-51). Billy Baron gives the lead to Milan 53-54 and Melli makes it +3 from the average (53-56). Virtus finds the way to the basket with Ojeleye for 56-56. Hines puts Milan ahead but Jaiteh from under the basket brings Virtus ahead 58-57. Baron with a big basket with a foul brings Olimpia up 58-60. However, Virtus responds with a triple from Cordinier of 61-60. A triple responds with a triple Devon Hall for 61-63 Milan. The third quarter ends with a foul by Ricci on Belinelli who scores 3/3 from the line: 64-63 Virtus.
The last period begins with a technical foul in Scariolo with Milan flying 64-66. Devon Hall scores Olimpia +4, maximum advantage for Milan. However, Virtus does not give up and with Ojeleye finds the -1 bomb (67-68). Belinelli equalized at 69. Hall again scored the new +2 for EA7 (69-71 with 6:18 to play). Olimpia again on +4 thanks to two free throws. Virtus no longer scores, Melli finds the tap in for +6 which forces Scariolo to call timeout: 69-75. Shields realizes the +9 that launches Milan on 69-78. Shengelia scores and from the line puts back two full possessions between the two teams (72-78). But Olimpia has another gear and with Napier from the arc they score +9 with less than 4 minutes to play. Napier misses the first triple but not the second and Milan flies to +10 with 3 minutes to play (74-84). It ends with a few tense minutes due to a Melli-Teodosic contact who then shake hands and Biligha’s expulsion.
92-82 the final.
For Milan 22 by Napier, 15 by Hall, 13 by Shields, 10 by Baron, 10 by Voigtmann.
For Bologna 17 by Belinelli, 16 by Shengelia, 15 by Teodosic, 10 by Ojeleye.