By Cesare Milanti/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After finishing January on a high note, Milan began the second month of 2023 in the best way possible, convincingly beating Crvena Zvezda 74-68 at home, surviving the Serbian late comeback. This is Milan’s second win in a row, while the Serbians are on a four-game losing streak.
Billy Baron, who played with the red-and-white Serbian team from 2018 to 2020, was the highest scorer for Ettore Messina’s team with 15 points.
Brandon Davies, who was named MVP of the Round after the first game of the season between Milan and the Serbian opponents, ended with 10 points. Devon Hall added 14 very crucial points.
Johannes Voigtmann was a key factor in the win against Baskonia in Round 22. The German stretch four played a significant role against Crvena Zvezda as well with 7 points and 5 rebounds, helping Milan create the gap before halftime, with the Italian team leading by 13 points.
“Important win against a very aggressive and physical team. It’s never easy to win against a team that is on a losing streak. In the second half, we were tired and it’s my fault because I decided to cut the rotation because we needed two ball handlers on the court together. I’ll try to go back using our reserves. Shabazz had 0 turnovers, and that’s huge”, Ettore Messina said after the victory.
After being homaged by Milan before the game, alongside Nemanja Nedovic, for having played with the home team in the 2021-22 season, Benjamin Bentil was the best for Crvena Zvezda with 17 points and 7 rebounds.
On Dusko Ivanovic’s team, Luca Vildoza tried his best to lead the offense but ended with 11 points and only 1/5 from beyond the arc.
“We had some shots to win the game. We lose one more time, we have to be patient and we will see. It doesn’t matter when we play, our supporters are always here to support us. I think in the first very minutes we weren’t patient. In the second quarter we played too many pick and roll, in the second half we played differently”, Dusko Ivanovic said after the game.
Both teams struggled a lot from beyond the arc (Milan 5/21, Crvena Zvezda 4/21), but the percentages increased lately. The guests captured 12 offensive rebounds but couldn’t keep up with second-chance opportunities. Crvena Zvezda had a 36-29 run in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.
Ettore Messina didn’t have Shavon Shields and Kevin Pangos, who won’t return before February, and Tommaso Baldasso, who broke his hand. DeShaun Thomas was also sidelined.
On the opposite side, Dusko Ivanovic still couldn’t have Facundo Campazzo, as the Argentian can’t be registered to play in the EuroLeague until February 28. John Holland, Hassan Martin, and Miroslav Raduljica weren’t part of the game either.
In Round 24 of 2022-23 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Milan (8-15) will travel to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce on January 10 at 18:45 CET. Crvena Zvezda (10-13) won’t come back home, as they’ll face Maccabi Tel Aviv the previous day at 20:05 CET.
PHOTO CREDIT: EA7 Emporio Armani Milan