Basketball, Euroleague: Milan hits the winning two, Villeurbanne down

MILAN – Second success in as many Euroleague matches for Olimpia Milano. After the external blow in Monaco at the debut in the continental competition, the AX wets with the victory also the debut at the Mediolanum Forum by overcoming Asvel Villeurbanne, a club owned by Tony Parker, trained in San Antonio by 87-73. Ettore Messina. The red and white suffer a bit only at the start, before taking control of the match and always staying ahead of the French with a convincing proof. Milan still uses the defense, which forces turnovers (17) and bad shots, to command the game despite having to overcome the problems of fouls that affected Kyle Hines and in the fourth period also Malcolm Delaney. In the quintet of Ettore Messina they go to five in double figures, the best of which is Shavon Shields with 17 points. A brace that will allow Olimpia to face the next two close matches with high morale: in Athens on the Olympiakos parquet and then at home with Real Madrid.

The French make Olimpia suffer at the start

At the start, Asvel uses Moustapha Fall’s tentacles to keep Olimpia away from the area, then above all Norris Cole’s speed to build the first five-point advantage, which anticipates the first triple of the hosts’ game, with Roll. Milan puts its head ahead for the first time (apart from Hines’ 2-1) with a three-point game by Moraschini, extends with two free throws from LeDay and closes the first quarter ahead 20-17 (only 33.3% from the field , partially remedying with the 8/9 packaged from the free throw line).

Blackout Milan, Villeurbanne gets closer

The second triple by Rodriguez, who plays alongside Delaney, then an entry by Moraschini and a dunk by Tarczewski are worth the 7-0 that allows Olimpia to escape to 27-19 with an immediate time-out by coach Parker. Much more in pace with the shooting, Milan stretches decisively to +14 with a triple from Datome. Villeurbanne tries again to start his long Noua and Fall: a triple from Howard brings him back to minus six at 40-34. The blackout of the premises continues despite two almost consecutive time-outs, then comes Rodriguez’s third triple and at the long interval it is 45-40 Olimpia.

Datome and Shields decisive in the last quarter

Even after returning from the changing rooms, Olimpia takes the final of the second quarter with them, so Asvel with a triple from Cole returns to minus two. Delaney takes care of that doing 3/3, digging nine more points for the red and white. But in attack the Italian team goes in flashes (1/7 from three in the fourth) and when the percentages drop the French team takes the opportunity to return to minus seven at the end of the period (61-54). When Asvel goes to minus four at the opening of the last quarter, it is Gigi Datome, with the complicity of LeDay’s energy, forced to play from the center, to answer for Milan, restoring nine points of margin. Rebounding Shields signs 70-59. He remains the great protagonist, while Milan stretches with the two playmakers on the pitch together. Always Shields with many small things, including a dunk on the break generated by a great defensive play, determines the maximum advantage of 15 points. And success is now in the safe. Giorgio Armani smiles behind the mask, applauds Gianmarco Tamberi – guest of honor – and with him the other 700 spectators (limited number for Covid-19) of the Forum who dream of the redemption season in the Euroleague after years of disappointments.


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