In the first match of the day, the third quarterfinal, face off between two big surprises of this first part of season, Sassari and Brindisi. In a really fought game (without the two captains Vanuzzo and Ndoja) at the end is the second force of the league to win thanks an amazing Drake Diener (196-G-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: De Paul), MVP, that closes with 36 points and 8/14 by 3. The Dinamo reaches the semifinal waiting for his opponent. However great game also for the team of Piero Bucchi, that can't will try to win his third Italian F8 (after that with Treviso and Napoli). The match it's been very balanced and is ended only after an overtime.
Robinson open the game with 2 points (8 in total in the first quarter, like his teammate Gibson) and, despite a great Drake Diener that starts with 11 points (2 consecutive triples in the first seconds and 3/5 total), there is great balance. After only 3 minutes Reynolds commits already his second foul but coach Bucchi decides to leave him on the court for some other minute. The Dinamo, excluding Drake Diener, has a bad percentage by 3 (0/6) but remains in contact thanks the points under the board of Easley (6 with 4 rebounds). False start for the best playmaker of the league: Travis Diener after 10 minutes has just one point (0/3 at shoot even if already 4 assist) and 2 fouls committed in the 24-22 final for Brindisi. The second quarter starts with the alley-oop Viggiano-Grant (next the dunk a tecnical foul for the American center) and a Drake Diener always on fire. The game remains very balanced also because the not exciting percentage. With little more than 3 minutes remaining shots begin to enter and the Enel reaches the +5 thanks a partial of 6-0 with 2 triples of the couple Formenti-Fultz. Brindisi maintains the advantage (up to a maximum of 6 points) thanks to other 2 triples (always Formenti-Fultz) despite a rumbustious Drake Diener. In the last action of the first half the buzzerbeater of Sacchetti set the result on 45-44 for the team of Brindisi. For the leaders only Robinson in double digit with 10 points, 9 for Gibson while Drake Diener leads the Dinamo with 19 points in 18 minutes and an amazing 6/8 total (5/7 by 3). The game restarts with a bad news for Bucchi: the third foul of Gibson after just 2 minutes. Thornton and Viggiano score by 3 and, after a tecnical foul for the bench of Sassari and a great dunk of Simmons (also 4 blocks in the quarter for the center with Bulgarian passport), Brindisi moves 7 points ahead. Finally Travis Diener finds his first triple but across the axis Reynolds-Viggiano don't miss a beat (7 assist for the playmaker and 15 points for the forward). Drake Diener (with 5 consecutive points) and Thornton try to mend the breach but thanks also to the help of Gibson Brindisi is again on +7 at 27'. In the last minutes starts the personal challenge between Gibson and Thornton and, thanks 3 amazing consecutive triples of the ex Siena (17 points in the quarter), Sassari took strongly the lead before the 2 free throws of Viggiano (caused by the fourth foul of the same Thornton) for the 73-72. In the last quarter seems to have finally arrived the time of Travis Diener that starts with 2 points and an assist for Sacchetti (+4 Dinamo). Shortly after arrives the fourth foul of the son of the coach but this don't stop Sassari that with 5 consecutive points of the usual Drake Diener leads despite 2 dunks of Simmons. With another dunk of his center Brindisi impacts on 82-82 and, after a pair of errors of Ignerski, the Enel back forward thanks the triple of Zerini and another dunk of the usual Simmons. Thanks 4 points of the cousins Diener Sassari back in contact and Easley draw with a free throw (87-87 at 39'). In the last minute 4 consecutive errors (Thornton, Reynolds, Sacchetti and Reynolds again) send the game to the overtime! In the first OT the first basket is for Gibson, Thornton and Drake Diener takes Sassari on +3 but after few seconds with the triple Gibson draw again. Sassari don't exploit 3 consecutive offensive rebounds and, after the timeout, Simmons signs the 94-93 for Brindisi. In the last 2 minutes Easley is decisive with 2 points and a perfect defense that provides the breakthrough of Viggiano and his fifth foul. With another 3 points shoot Drake Diener writes a partial of 5-0 and the +4 for the Dinamo. After some errors and free throws (fifth foul of Thornton) Gibson has the chance to draw again with the last shoot but, despite 5 seconds remaining, his conclusion is short and Sassari wins an exciting game for 98-96! The top scorer of the game is Drake Diener with 36 points, 25 for Thornton (17 only in the third quarter) and usual double-double for Easley (15 + 10 rebounds) and Travis Diener (13 + 12 assist). For the defeated 26 points of Gibson, 18 of Simmons (with 10 rebounds) and 15 for Viggiano.
Best players of Italian Serie A round 16 - 8 hours ago
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Experienced Croatian Hrvoje Peric (203-F-85) had an amazing evening in the last round for league's second-best Umana VE and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 16. The 31-year old forward had the game-high 27 points adding seven rebounds for Umana VE in his team's victory, helping them to crush AV Cantu (#13, 6-10) with 21-point margin 93-72. Umana VE maintains the 2nd position in Italian Serie A. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a... [read more]
Experienced Croatian Hrvoje Peric (203-F-85) had an amazing evening in the last round for league's second-best Umana VE and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 16. The 31-year old forward had the game-high 27 points adding seven rebounds for Umana VE in his team's victory, helping them to crush AV Cantu (#13, 6-10) with 21-point margin 93-72. Umana VE maintains the 2nd position in Italian Serie A. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Umana VE will need more victories to improve their 12-4 record. In the team's last game Peric had a remarkable 72.2% from 2-point range. He has many years of experience at Umana VE, through which he has constantly improved. Hrvoje Peric averages this season 10.9ppg and 6.3rpg.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 27-year old American point guard Chris Wright (185-PG-89) of Auxilium TO. Wright impressed basketball fans with 26 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. It was enough for Auxilium TO to edge the higher-ranked Scandone AV (#3, 11-5) by 5 points 84-79. Auxilium TO's 10th position in the standings has not changed. His team lost some distance to top teams. But 8-8 record is not bad and everything may still change. Wright is a newcomer at Auxilium TO and it seems he did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders.
The third best performed player last round was Croatian Rok Stipcevic (185-PG-86, agency: Alti Sport) of Banco di Srd (#5). Stipcevic scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was a key player of Banco di Srd, leading his team to a 83-76 win against the lower-ranked Openjobmetis V. (#15, 4-12). Banco di Srd needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 9 victories and 7 lost games. Stipcevic has a very solid season. In 16 games in Italy he scored 11.4ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Riccardo Cervi (214-C-91) of Grissin Bon RE - 15 points and 14 rebounds 5. Zabian Dowdell (191-PG-84) of AV Cantu - 14 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists 6. Jarrod Jones (205-C/F-90) of VL Pesaro - 18 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Nathan Boothe (206-C-94) of The Flexx PT - 19 points and 3 rebounds 8. Dominique Sutton (198-G/F-86) of Dolomiti En. TR - 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists 9. Kyrylo Fesenko (216-C-86) of Scandone AV - 15 points and 8 rebounds 10. Achille Polonara (203-F-91) of Grissin Bon RE - 12 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Scafati adds Metreveli to their roster - 41 minutes ago
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Givova Scafati Basket (Serie A2) added to their roster 26-year old Georgian power forward Nika Metreveli (211-105kg-91). He played recently at JuveCaserta in the Serie A, but left the team earlier this month. Serie A was a little too high level for him, where in 10 games he recorded just 0.6ppg and 1.0rpg this season. Serie A2 will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Metreveli won Georgian League ch... [read more]
Givova Scafati Basket (Serie A2) added to their roster 26-year old Georgian power forward Nika Metreveli (211-105kg-91). He played recently at JuveCaserta in the Serie A, but left the team earlier this month. Serie A was a little too high level for him, where in 10 games he recorded just 0.6ppg and 1.0rpg this season. Serie A2 will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Metreveli won Georgian League championship title in 2015. He was also voted Eurobasket.com Georgian League All-Domestic Players Team in 2015. Metreveli was also a member of Georgian international program for some years. He played for Georgian Senior National Team between 2009 and 2015 and previously for U20 National Team back in 2009. Metreveli also represented Georgia at the Qualifications to European Championships 2015 three years ago. His stats at that event were 3 games: 2.3ppg, 2.7rpg. Metreveli has played previously professionally in Italy (Rimini, Banco di Srd, Mens Sana 1871 Siena, Roseto and Betaland Cdo) and Georgia (MIA and Sokhumi). The scouts decsribe him following way:
A very promising Georgian teenager, expected to become a 7-foot inside force. Has a very nice outside shooting that enables him to easily play at the 4 position.
Georgia is among the countries that produces very skilful and strong high towers. Nika belongs to this team; he is very tall with long edges and has a harmonic body which simply shows that with some extra work out he can do a lot of things in the court. He is a hard worker and he likes to play the physical game even though his doesn't have so big strength, he is very good on the defence. He needs to upgrade his moves in the paint, even though he already did so he will have to work hard in order to be able to play on a much higher level than the one currently plays in the junior championship of Italy with Montepaschi's jersey and then possibly enter in the men's team. He has all the prospects, body and physical moves to do so.
Pasta Reggia JuveCaserta (Serie A) signed experienced 37-year old American power forward Linton Johnson (203-93kg-80, college: Tulane, agency: SPORTlab Agency). It is actually his comeback to Juvecaserta as he has played here before. Johnson started the season at Givova Scafati Basket in the Serie A2. In 11 games he had 11.0ppg and 7.5rpg this season. The last season Johnson played at Juvecaserta where in four Serie A games he recorded 6.0ppg and 5.5rpg. The list of the past achievements... [read more]
Pasta Reggia JuveCaserta (Serie A) signed experienced 37-year old American power forward Linton Johnson (203-93kg-80, college: Tulane, agency: SPORTlab Agency). It is actually his comeback to Juvecaserta as he has played here before. Johnson started the season at Givova Scafati Basket in the Serie A2. In 11 games he had 11.0ppg and 7.5rpg this season. The last season Johnson played at Juvecaserta where in four Serie A games he recorded 6.0ppg and 5.5rpg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Johnson's team made it to the Italian Cup Final Four in 2011. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Italian SerieA Most Improved Player of the Year and Eurobasket.com Italian SerieA All-Imports Team back in 2012. Johnson has played also professionally in Spain (Baskonia) and NBA (Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors) and Italy (Openjobmetis VA, The Flexx Pistoia, Banco di Srd and Scandone Avellino). It's very possible he may end his playing career at JuveCaserta. Johnson attended Tulane University until 2002 and it is his 15th (!!!) season as a professional player. He could be described:
Linton Johnson was phenomenal on the glass. He didn't shoot well, but he did a lot of things well. They're things that don't necessarily show up in the box score. Has that kind of hard-working mentality that is loved by all the coaches and team managers.
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