Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Petteri Koponen Watch: Don't Watch Edition

Thanks to Finnish Superstar H.T. we have been able to keep up on Petteri Koponen's Italian experiences. There have been highs and lows for the second youngest player in Lega Serie A. The roller coaster continues...

Two weeks have passed by and things aren't looking too good for Petteri Koponen and his Italian Serie A team Virtus Bologna. A week ago, Benetton Treviso made mincemeat of their Bolognese rivals, jumping to a quick 23-11 start after first quarter and maintaining the lead until end numbers of 81-65.

Petteri Koponen played the second-highest minute amount of his team (31), but registered only 4 points (fg 1/2) to go with 2 steals and 4 turnovers. Keith Langford had 17 points and 7 rebounds, but the rest of Virtus was somewhere between mediocre and miserable, with Earl Boykins scoring 5 points (fg 1/6) and turning the ball over six times. Team shot only 26,7 % from behind the arc and 48,1 % from the free throw line while turning the ball over 21 times and losing the rebounding battle 42-33. In Petteri Koponen's defence, it has to be said that during his time on the court, Bologna only lost by five points. Gary Neal lead Treviso with 21/7 and Bobby Dixon responded with 18 points, 5 assists and 6 steals.

Last night was even worse for Bologna. Angelico Biella, one of the below average teams in Serie A, steamrolled in the second quarter and never gave up the lead, defeating Bologna in their home court 93-84 (53-41). Petteri came off the bench and played only eight minutes, finishing with 3 points (fg 1/3), one rebound and one turnover and not playing a single minute in the whole second half. Boykins was back to his normal form, scoring 18 (fg 7/11) and Guilherme Giovannoni tuned in for 16, but something is definitely going wrong for Virtus Bologna at the moment. They have dropped down to 6th spot of Serie A with nine wins in 16 games.

Reece Gaines lead Biella with 17 points. Swedish national team forward Jonas Jerebko had 16 points and 10 rebounds and James Gist finished with 16 points as well.

This Sunday, Bologna tries to snap the losing streak at home against league-eighth Armani Jeans Milano and their elite players Pape Sow, David Hawkins and newest acquisition Hollis Price.

And after a two week break, Bologna heads back to FIBA EuroChallenge Cup. The team travels to Turkey's Galatasaray to play the opening game of qualification to Elite Eight this Tuesday. Galatasaray sports a very intriguing roster, with American guards Rashid Atkins and Antonio Graves carrying most of the scoring load alongside Serbian power forward Milan Gurovic, who was voted the MVP of Polish finals last year. Another player worth mentioning is Turkish 7-1" behemoth Hüseyin Besok.

-The Notorious H.T.


marco from Italy said...

He scored 17 points and played well beyond the stats in Eurocup, But in Italy, he still has a difficult period. Ciao

Jack Brown said...

Thanks, Marco. Good to hear Italians valuing Koponen. Hopefully things will get better.

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