CASALE MONFERRATO. Without a head coach, Varèse proved to be a major rival for Bertram, who nevertheless won in a match with very high scores, taking advantage in particular of Daum’s afternoon of grace. The pre-Easter round of Serie A thus finds the first trio of consecutive wins of the season in the lion’s egg, solidifying their bid for a placement at the top of the playoff grid. With three games left on the schedule, the distance duel for fourth place promises to be thrilling.
Aware of the opponent’s eagerness to cash in the offensive rebounds, Bertram is immediately well concentrated to prevent easy conclusions close to the iron to Varèse, who fails to do the same in his own zone and tries to stay in contact with distance shooting. A relatively successful strategy for player-captain Ferrero’s team, who find themselves having to deal with a dynamic and punctual Tortona on their return to Casale as a former Junior to fight their way to the basket.
This at least until the end of the first quarter, when Varèse manages to increase the physique of his internal defense and improve his offensive efficiency in the paint. From a game well addressed for the lions, the dispute becomes decidedly more balanced and fought, also with the contribution of the triplets of Filloy on the one hand, Keene and Woldetensae.
The Bertram always remains a possession in front, sometimes it widens to two with the contribution of the rookie Fridriksson, but the Openjobmetis does not give up, despite a burning acceleration inspired by Daum (wonderful alley-oop and triple) nearby of the interval. The digits of the black and white number 24 are enough to bring the gap down to double digits at the long stop. A useful treasure to guard against a start of arrembante recovery by Varèse or groped for an extension without too much anxiety.
The second hypothesis is the one that is emerging on the floor, with a Tortona who forces an inordinate number of turnovers, disturbing the opposing pass lines, and tries to approach +20 by dint of points on the counter-attack.
Obviously the baskets are not lacking on the actions deployed in the Var defense, especially from the arc, but they are still not enough to bring down the red and white resistance definitively. Reyes’ vigorous gates near the basket reveal an unexpected drop in the strength of Bertram’s internal defense, contributing to a partial that puts Openjobmetis back just 6 points. The guest’s comeback attempt is somewhat mixed at the start of the fourth final (+10 Juventus), but the risk is still real for coach Ramondino’s men.
Luckily, there’s Daum to weigh in his hot hand of three early in the final sprint, putting in those baskets that would give Bertram a good edge to manage. A mandatory conditional against a never tamed Varèse, who achieves a consecutive turnover in defense and puts Sorokas in motion in his double offensive dimension. That combination looks set to turn the final minutes into a thrilling point-to-point duel, instead Tortona walks away breaking the 100-point barrier for the first time in the regular season.