GTG Pistoia, this time no comeback: Cento draws the series

Serie A2 Gold Draw Quarter-finals Play-off – Game 2

Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia – Tramec Cento: 61-75

(15-26, 15-13, 14-22, 17-14)

Pistoia: Metsla ne, Della Rosa (k) 2, Utomi * 8, Divac ne, Saccaggi * 9, Del Chiaro 2, Magro * 4, Allinei ne, Johnson * 20, Wheatle * 8, Riismaa 8

one hundred: Zilli * 10, James * 12, Tomassini * 22, Barnes * 15, Dellosto 3, Ranuzzi (k), Berti 6, Moreno 7, Gasparin *, Guastamacchi ne

starting quintet from

Francesco Belliti

Johnson shooting (photo Giovanni Fedi) PISTOIA

– Despite Sunday’s victory, a step forward was required today. Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia has instead made two back, surrendering to a stubborn and never fearful Cento, which has thus equalized the series before it moves to the friendly Emilia lands. A defeat that hurts, both for the lack of attacking shown by the men of coach Brienza and for the performances of the players who have been fundamental during the year. Because the waning phase is fine, but the difference here is between day and night.

The only double figure of the red and white was a Jazz Johnson who played at alternating current, therefore also insufficient in the judgment. Strong-willed performance and to be praised by Riismaa, who however also found many difficulties in shooting, as evidenced by the 0/4 from behind the arc. Poor contribution from both Utomi and Wheatle, this time also eaten in defense by the Emilians. Finally, some thrills for Saccaggi, who came out of the game prematurely due to a physical problem: the hope is that it is nothing that compromises the series.

The compliments all go to Cento, who this time managed to complete the game she had in mind, forcing Pistoia to a dull 22/64 shooting. And if the men of coach Mecacci also find excellent percentages, beating them is practically impossible: 22 points for the MVP of the day Giovanni Tomassini, with 8/16 shooting. Now for the Tuscan red and white the play-off semifinal mission becomes really uphill: it is urgent to regain confidence immediately, starting from Friday. And the law of hard play still holds true, especially now. First half

– The second play-off match is inaugurated by Wheatle’s triple and Saccaggi’s show in the area. However, Cento has not lost its fighting spirit: it remains attacked and then goes on thanks to the points of its Americans who, with their bombs, sign the +7 and force coach Brienza at the first time-out. Dellosto also joins the triple club and the Emilians reach the maximum advantage of +13 while Pistoia’s difficulties in reaching the basket are evident. Del Chiaro puts a patch at the end of the first quarter.

The second period begins: the percentages are lowered and the defenses are engaged. Pistoia must take advantage and find the right charge from his top man Johnson: for the former Cantù there are three triples, the first with a foul immediately and a completed four-player game. The slaps do not stun Cento, who always finds the winning solution inside the area. Moreno’s bomb brings the guests back to the double-digit advantage, which is canceled before returning to the locker room: however, the red and white will have to play a completely different game. Second half

– At the start of the second half, Utomi wakes up who immediately explodes five points and contributes, together with Magro, to bring his team back to -2. Per Cento then Tomassini is activated: basket, triple and assist to Gasparin that are worth the counter-set and three full possessions in favor of the guests. The play former Verona continues to make good and bad weather: scores, scores and steals balls. The Emilians reach the new maximum advantage: +16 with fourteen minutes to go. Tomassini does not stop doing badly behind the arc, Barnes also joins and the situation becomes desperate for the Tuscans: a game that seems closed well before the last quarter is played.

Pistoia again relies on Johnson to complete what is in effect an impossible mission: a few nibbled points and the red and white can still hope. It rains in the wet: Saccaggi accuses a physical problem and returns sadly to the locker room. Again Jazz and then Utomi from behind the arch: now they are only two possessions of detachment with four and a half minutes from the end. Great fourth period of Riismaa from the point of view of sacrifice, while the seconds pass and Cento still remains at a safe distance: it is still Tomassini who cuts his legs in Pistoia with yet another triple of his game. It’s really over: 1-1 with the series moving to Emilia from Friday.

The statements of the post-matchCoach Nicola Brienza

: “They are the play-offs: one match is good and the other is bad. Now it resets and goes to play Cento to try to extend the series. It was a strange game: net of their excellent ballistic and rebounding performance, we were pretty good at holding up on defense. It is clear that we lack brio in attack: we took some good shots but we made a mistake. More than one player struggled today, while Riismaa had an important approach in terms of energy and desire: with rest, we will be able to do better. Saccaggi? He took a hit in a spot where he was already having trouble. Between tonight and tomorrow we will evaluate his conditions ”.

“The defense of Cento? Against a team that makes extreme tactical choices we have to be good at punishing them. When we got to -2 in the third quarter, as well as in the last comeback attempt, we left some chances there. There is great respect for our opponents, but we are also aware that we can get back on track and win this series. I expect the reaction of a team that has always fought this seasonCoach Matteo Mecacci

: “Also tonight a good match, excellent as far as we are concerned. We have created important margins and today we have built many good shots, understanding how to react to the aggressiveness of Pistoia. The defensive test was finally perfect, despite not having been able to train much: we also limited Johnson, as we wanted to do since Race 1. Pistoia remains the favorite, but we have earned the opportunity to play two games at home ”.Jazz Johnson

: “I know perfectly well that I have to move the ball better when they double me, just as it is necessary for more players to score. Cento played with more energy and took too many rebounds in attack: we must find hunger in the next games. In Race 1 we managed to get back the game, today we didn’t make it: they found a few more baskets and we were unable to respond. We are angry, but we must also be calm and understand that we can go on to win at Cento. We will have to use our anger intelligently ”.Giovanni Tomassini

: “We are very happy because few have managed to win here. The team was close to perfection: we put the body and played the right way. Tough games are waiting for us, like these first two were: there is fatigue, but the desire and pride with our audience that pushes us must come out. There are moments in the match in which everything is decided: today I managed to find them and it went well “.



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