Milan champion of Italy!  Race-6 without history: Virtus Bologna overwhelmed

Olimpia dominated from start to finish and finished 81-64 (4-2 in the series). It is the fourth tricolor of the Armani era, the fifth for Messina, the 29th for the Milanese. The feast of the 12 thousand on the field

The championship final ends at the Forum in race-6. The series ends at 4-2, Milan returns to the roof of Italy.

The most awaited roar, the tricolor one, comes when Messina calls all his big names to the bench: Melli, Rodriguez, Shields, Hines. There are still three minutes to go but it is already time for tears and hugs. Milan sews the number 29 shield on its shirts by pulling it off at Virtus: it is the fourth of the Armani era, conquered in his own home, the Forum, where the first one arrived in 2014. Thus the designer’s personal showcase rises to 12 trophies (4 shields , 4 Italian Cups and 4 Super Cups), capable of relaunching the Olimpia brand in Italy and Europe in the 14 years of regency. But this tricolor has many fathers: Melli, Rodriguez, Hines and Shields in the field, the full-blown leaders of a group that has been able to withstand the brunt of a thousand adversities, looking at the dualism with Virtus in the face without seeking discounts and false alibis. Then, obviously, above this championship there is the skilful hand of Ettore Messina, the coach-manager, the plenipotentiary who has written a new page in the history of Italian basketball. For Ettore it is the fifth, after those conquered with Virtus and Treviso and therefore useful to insert him in the prestigious and exclusive club of champion coaches with three different teams. There are three of them: Messina, Bianchini and Recalcati. Stuff for the elect only. In the meantime, Assago becomes a red and white river that also overflows on the pitch, for a party expected from 2018 and ennobled by the adversary’s coat of arms. On the fourth attempt, Olimpia managed to bend Virtus in a championship final.

The match

The epilogue seems to have already been written in the explosive Milanese start that offers the best basketball in the entire championship series. He scores Olimpia in every way, especially on the counterattack, the son of a defense that leaves no holes. Two blocks from Hines take away from the virtussini the most dangerous weapon so far: the long shots. So Bologna suffers everything and more by stumbling over his idea of ​​basketball (7 losses). The triples of Rodriguez, Datome and Grant are legbreakers: 20-8, just to be appreciated and 29 points scored in the first 10 minutes. Under 13 (16-29), however, the Italian champions reorganize themselves starting from the defense: Milan runs aground in attack, Datome’s triple alone is too little to be able to live on income, so Bologna returns up to -5, pushed by Alibegovic and Hackett. But the problem with turnovers is the worm that sends virtussian thoughts into a tailspin. Milan is ruthless in collecting the amnesia of others and with Shields goes to rest at 41-36. However, it is not the slaughter of the first quarter and, all in all, Virtus is back in the game.

Final sprint

However, this is an illusion. The desire to write history vibrates above all under the red and white jacket. A splendid Datome, in the third period, prepares the coup de ko. There are already 17 points from Gigione, while Rodriguez’s ten-meter triple blows up the Forum and also sounds like Chacho’s farewell gift that will remain in Olimpia’s history anyway. Virtus seems to be one step away from throwing the towel: the 10 points in the fourth seem like an early sentence, the Scudetto begins to come loose from the black and white tank tops. The 61-46 of the third siren is the antechamber of Hades for the black Vs that collapse with a crash on the last descent. Milan, again with Rodriguez, reaches +25. Scariolo calls timeout, but his are still dry after 5 minutes. The 10-0 break is pure exaltation for Milan which finds chocolates from everyone. The pathos evaporates, leaving room for the celebration of the Proud Warrior. It is the night of the Scudetto. It is the night of Milan.

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