Umana Reyer Venezia secured a 3-2 advantage in the ongoing Italian Serie A Finals on Tuesday after a 78-65 Game 5 win over Banco di Sardegna Sassari.
As expected the finals series as been a hard-fought back-and-forth affair between these two competitive clubs. However, this deep into the series, the games have more weight. Sassari now have their backs to the wall and are in a do-or-die situation for tomorrow’s Game 6. While they’ve shown that they can take games off their Venetian opponents, the white shirts will have to muster up some spirited play in order to wrench momentum from Venezia.
True to form, Sassari was superior in controlling action on the glass with a slim 38-32 rebounding advantage. However, Venezia took their offense beyond the 3-point arc and converted on 11-of-27 shots from downtown compared to just 6-of-23 from Sassari.
Veteran Austin Daye produced an all-around excellent game for Venezia, dropping 20 points, seven rebounds and three treys while exercising some disciplined scoring efficiency. He made 4-of-5 shots from 2-point range and 3-of-4 shots from 3-point land. Daye also made all three of his attempts from the free throw line. He led three other orange shirts to score in double figures, with Stefano Tonut adding 15 points and Michael Bramos chipping in 11 points of his own.
On Sassari’s side, the duo of Rashawn Thomas and Marco Spissu took care of the scoring duties with a 20-point, 10-rebound performance from Thomas and 17 points from Spissu. Unfortunately, aside from those two players, the rest of Sassari had trouble getting into a groove on offense. If they’re to even up the series tomorrow night, more players will need to get involved and provide much-needed firepower to match Venezia’s offense.
That said, the Serie A Finals is still an undecided flip. Will Venezia be able to close it out and bag the 2019 championship or will Sassari force a Game 7 where both teams will have to lay it all on the line in just one game to battle for the Italian hoops crown.