Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Petteri Koponen Watch: Covertly blogging from work edition

H.T. checks in with the latest on Petteri Koponen. Now shhhhhh my coworkers are getting suspicious...

Four games in eight days? Sounds like a normal schedule for NBA team. From Sunday the 15th to Sunday the 22nd, it was gruelling reality for Petteri Koponen and Virtus Bologna. Predicting a 3 win - 1 loss or 2 win - 2 loss week would've been quite in order, but instead, Bologna went 4-0 in dominating fashion despite barely being able to catch a breather.

Bologna tipped things off Sunday the 15th playing a home game against NGC Cantù, currently 7th in Serie A. Cantù was able to make things difficult for Virtus for 25 minutes until Earl Boykins finally broke loose and took Virtus from four points down to 12 points up. Boykins finished with 17 points, 6 assists and 5 steals in Virtus' 83-72 (32-36) victory while Petteri Koponen had 3 points (fg 1-3), 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 15 minutes as a starter.

Next Tuesday (Mar 17th) Bologna flew to Germany to meet Telekom Baskets Bonn in the opening round of EuroChallenge quarterfinals. Virtus dominated the game from early on and headed home with a 76-86 (33-47) victory despite Bonn's fourth quarter run. Sharrod Ford (17/7), Reyshawn Terry (16/7) and Keith Langford (14/3ast) were Virtus' main weapons in victory over Bonn while Petteri Koponen started the game, played 14 minutes (all in the first half) and had 4 points (fg 2-2), 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 turnover.

Two days later, Telekom Baskets came to Italy to meet Virtus again in the "do-or-die" Game 2 of the playoffs. Virtus started things off slowly but didn't really have much trouble finishing Bonn 106-91 (56-44) and heading to the EuroChallenge Final Four which will be played at the end of the April. Sharrod Ford (28/6/3as/3bl), Keith Langford (17/0), Guilherme Giovannoni (16/5) and Earl Boykins (12/9as) were simply too much for Bonn to handle. Petteri, once again, started the game but played only 15 minutes, ending up with 2 points (fg 1-1), 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 turnover.

Finally, Virtus met Brandon Jennings's Lottomatica Roma in much anticipated Sunday matchup at Bologna's FuturShow Station. Virtus pulled away from Lottomatica from the beginning of second quarter and never looked back, finishing with a 89-74 (46-34) victory and climbing back to the no. 2 spot in Serie A. Keith Langford (23) and Earl Boykins (20/3/4as) were Virtus' main gunners while Ibrahim Jaaber (24) was the only Lottomatica player who was able to give Virtus some trouble.

Round 3 of Petteri Koponen-Brandon Jennings match-up ended pretty much with a tie. Petteri started the game, finishing with 6 points (fg 2-5), 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 19 minutes, while Brandon Jennings played 17 minutes off the bench and went for 5 points (fg 2-4), 1 rebound, 3 assists and 1 turnover.

This week will be much easier one for Virtus; they won't play their next game before Sunday 29th in "Derby" against local rival GMAC Bologna, currently 15th in Serie A. GMAC's top players include 2007 NBA draftee D.J. Strawberry, Greek national team behemoth Lazaros Papadopolous and everybody's favorite player, Gregor Fucka:



BN Man said...

Thanks for the update. Sounds like Petteri is going through a bit of a rough patch, but at least they are giving him some real minutes.

Anonymous said...

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