Friday, February 20, 2009

Petteri Koponen Watch: Brandon Jennings can't wait for the NBA edition

In an effort to improve the human condition, H.T. has selflessly provided us with updates on the development of Blazer's draftee Petteri Koponen in Italy. Here is the latest...

Italian Cup quarter-finals tipped off Thursday night at FuturShow Station of Bologna. Petteri Koponen's team, La Fortezza Bologna, faced Brandon Jennings and Lottomatica Roma in front of sold-out home crowd and the outcome was definitely crowd-pleasing, with Bologna dominating from opening tip until the final buzzer.

Lottomatica started the game pretty well with point guard Ibrahim Jaaber pressuring Earl Boykins from early on. Bologna coach Matteo Bonicinolli placed Koponen on Jaaber, trying to make playmaking as miserable as possible for the Brooklyn-born point guard. After an even first quarter, Bologna outscored Lottomatica Roma 11-2 in the first four minutes of second quarter and managed to pull an 48-32 overtime lead.

It wasn't enough, though. Lottomatica's Ruben Douglas was fantastic from behind the arc in the third quarter and Bologna couldn't get the ball moving while Lottomatica came within six points, 65-59. In fourth quarter, Bologna's Dusan Vukcevic caught fire and Bologna's strong on-ball defence frustrated Lottomatica. Virtus Bologna won the game 85-76 and proceeded to cup semifinals against Banca Tercas Teramo.

Petteri Koponen started the game for Bologna and played 18 minutes. Even though his defence was once again pretty good (Ibrahim Jaaber's field goals: 3/9), he struggled a bit on offence, ending up with 3 points (field goals 1/4), one rebound and two personal fouls.

Brandon Jennings didn't have too much to do with the game's outcome, either. In 12 minutes of play, Jennings had 5 points (fg 2/3), one rebound, one assist, one steal and two fouls. Jennings and Koponen guarded each other for a while at the end of third quarter.

For Bologna, Earl Boykins had 21 points and 9 assists. Sharrod Ford had 16 points and 7 rebounds while Dusan Vukcevic scored 15. Andre Hutson had 16 and Ruben Douglas had 15 for Lottomatica Roma.

Virtus Bologna will meet Banca Tercas Teramo this Saturday. The winner of the game will advance to the Italian Cup Final. Teramo's most notable players are Brandon Brown, David Moss, Jaycee Carroll, Giuseppe Poeta and Valerio Amoroso.


-H.T.

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