Neven Spahija honors Virtus and points the way forward

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“We have to play better defense, definitely better.”

At the end of a game that saw Reyer Venezia lead operations until the long halftime (the teams went to rest with the Venetians ahead by two lengths), in the second half Virtus Bologna put all its talent and experience on the court making the match 82-68 its own.

Neven Spahija, the coach of the Venetian team, spoke this way in the postgame: “First of all, I want to congratulate coach Scariolo and his team. They played better than us, especially in the second half. We in the first two quarters played good defense but missed almost all the open shots; in the second we missed all the shots, not defending. We wanted to set the game with a high tempo, but without playing in a hurry. We have a long way to go to improve,” the Croatian coach began. “I believe in my players: they have been working hard since I got here. Now we have to stick together and think positive to continue. In the second half they had very clear ideas on how to limit us, putting great pressure on our point guards. We started the third quarter very badly and we couldn’t find a quintet to react, defensively and offensively,” he continued.

“To get to my basketball philosophy there are many things to change, I want to play with ‘pace’ – rhythm, ed – and I want my players to shoot from three in transition, but we have to play better defense, definitely better. Against Pesaro we showed that. Of course, Pesaro and Bologna are not at the same level, but we have to defend with the same intensity. Defense right now is my priority,” he concluded.

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