Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Petteri Koponen Watch: H.T. playing hardball

You may have been wondering why the Petteri Koponen updates have been slowing down. I'm sad to report that our long-time embedded Finnish operative H.T. has been holding out due to tense contract negotiations with DeceptivelyQuick. I knew it was a bad sign when he signed with Finnish power-agent Jukka Rosenhaus. (Ba-dum Ch!)

To keep the vast DeceptivelyQuick readership (Ba-dum Ch!) abreast of the situation I figured I would share a recent message sent to me by the beloved H.T. :

Yeah, I've been pretty slow with the Italy updates but you know, I think we should re-negotiate my salary because of economic crisis. I mean, the trouts you've been sending me over last three months aren't enough to feed me and all the 28 kids I have in my igloo with me.

This from a man recently seen hanging out with the likes of Ron Jeremy and soaking up other perks of the Finnish-Celebrity scene. Luckily we have agreed to a deal in principal with the help of mutual friend Stig Dogg and H.T., as a good faith gesture, has provided us with another Petteri Koponen Update. Make sure to check out the latest picture of Koponen, that big frame is looking more and more NBA ready by the day.
Petteri Koponen update: Virtus wins their 6th and 7th in a row

Just a month ago, Petteri Koponen's Virtus Bologna suffered their absolutely worst loss of the season in a road game against Solsonica Rieti, a team currently 14th in the 16-team Italian Serie A standings. Right now it seems that the terrible, 25-point loss was a wake-up call for Virtus, which has been supposed to be one of the top three teams in the league with Montepaschi Siena and Lottomatica Roma.

Ever since that hard-to-forget March 7th game, Virtus has been dominating its opponents in both Serie A and FIBA EuroChallenge Cup. Both leagues included, Virtus has extended its win streak to seven games these last two weeks.

March 29th, Virtus Bologna met their cross-city rival, GMAC Bologna, in much-anticipated derby between two top teams of basketball-crazy Bologna. GMAC Bologna's season hasn't been that much of a success this year, but they managed to make things extraordinarily tough for Virtus. Virtus Bologna forward Dusan Vukcevic became the hero of this hard-fought battle by sinking the deciding jump shot at the buzzer and giving Virtus a 75-74 (34-30) victory. Petteri Koponen started the game and played 19 minutes, collecting 7 points (fg 2-2 ft 3-3), 3 rebounds and 2 steals, making most of his damage in the opening five minutes.

Here you can see a picture of Petteri schooling some opponents in the Bologna derby.

A week later, Virtus hosted once again one of the weaker teams in Serie A when Eldo Caserta came to town. Caserta has been slowly making progress these last weeks trying to make a late playoff run, and Virtus trailed for 36 minutes before their starting punch finally pulled things together and were able to snatch a 86-81 (46-47) victory. Petteri started the game, but played only five minutes, ending up with one rebound and two turnovers (g 0-1).

Here's a brief statistical recap of these two games:

GMAC Bologna - Virtus Bologna 74-75 (7-13, 30-34, 49-55)
GMAC: Marcelo Huertas 24/3/5as, Lazaros Papadopoulos 17/14, DJ Strawberry 13/5/3as.
Virtus: Dusan Vukcevic 14/1/4as, Earl Boykins 12/1, Sharrod Ford 9/7.

Virtus Bologna - Eldo Caserta 86-81 (20-20, 46-47, 65-68)
Virtus: Earl Boykins 19/3, Sharrod Ford 16/15/3bl, Keith Langford 12/5/4as.
Caserta: Guillermo Diaz 17/6/6as, David Brkic 14/6, Fabio di Bella 11/6/3as.

Italian basketball homepage www.legabasket.it is showing that Serie A game between Solsonica Rieti and Virtus Bologna has been postponed. I'm not sure whether it has something to do between these easter week Italy earthquakes.




-H.T.

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