Olimpia Milano holds on to sweep the regular-season series with Real Madrid

2021-01-08T22:43:25+00:00 2021-01-09T17:31:14+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

08/Jan/21 22:43


A 19-2 run for AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano to start the third quarter completely changed the game

By Eurohoops Team/ info@eurohoops.net

Coming off two consecutive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague losses at home, AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano took down Real Madrid, 80-76, Friday at the WiZink Center.

Sergio Rodriguez put up 25 points in the win against his former team earlier this season and went for a team-high 17 points in the second 2020-21 meeting. His 3/4 threes for the night included a dagger for a 77-71 lead with 24 seconds to play.

A tight game in the first half nearly turned into a blowout as the visitors launched the second half with a 19-2 sprint. The 17-point lead was cut to three points, but Milan held on for the “W” in the Regular Season Round 18 affair.

Malcolm Delaney registered 14 points, 11 of those in the second half. The third double-digit scorer for the winning side, Zach LeDay finished with 12 points.

“It is a big win for us and now we need to regroup,” said head coach Ettore Messina, “We are a little bit short in the rotation because we have two big games next week, as always. My players deserve to relax and enjoy a great win, and the coaches will go back and watch film.”

“We had a couple of tough games to close out the old year, so we just want to build some momentum going into the new year, try to pick up where we left off early in the season,” mentioned Delaney, “We know it is important in the second half of the season for the playoffs, we just want to play hard and get some wins.”

“I think we showed that we can compete against anybody, in the good and the bad, because also, down the stretch, we lost many games. This is a step forward,” added Luigi Datome after his nine points behind 4/4 field goals and five rebounds, “We missed big players but still were focused on the game and as I said at halftime, we took away those three-pointers. The guys were great in the third quarter to build the lead.”

Prior to the ongoing season, the Whites were 15-1 this century versus the Italian outlet. Also, they were riding a six-game winning streak looking very strong despite the recent departure of Facundo Campazzo. Missing both Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez alongside Anthony Randolph proved too much to handle this time around.

Jaycee Carroll fired in 18 out of his season-high 20 points in the second half hitting 8/11 field goals but was not enough to prevent his side from falling to 12-6. Walter Tavares got to 14 points and Trey Thompkins ended up with 13.

“Even in the first half, when the game was balanced, the feeling was that we were behind them,” noted Pablo Laso, “As I always say, it must be something to learn from, for the future.”

The team coached by Messina went up 10-7 without injured stars Shavon Shields and Vladimir Micov ahead of the double-game week featuring Valencia at home Tuesday and ALBA Berlin on the road Thursday.

Laso’s side will move on hosting Crvena Zvezda mts Wednesday and taking on FC Bayern Munich in Germany Friday.