Shabazz Napier stays hot, Milano wins again

2023-03-24T22:51:56+00:00 2023-03-25T00:26:10+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

24/Mar/23 22:51

The undermanned Bayern Munich was no rival for Olimpia Milano and Shabazz Napier in particular.

By Eurohoops team/

Shabazz Napier scored 20 points and dished out four assists as Olimpia Milano beat a very shorthanded Bayern Munich team 99 – 74 at home to register its seventh win over the last eight games and retain its mathematical chances for the playoffs.

This was the second straight 20+ game by Napier after the 26 points he had in the away win over Fenerbahce Beko. Thanks to his performances, Milano has improved to 14-16 with four games remaining in the regular season.

“It was a team effort,” Napier said. “A lot of guys came in. Bayern is a great team, we did a lot of things to just try to interrupt them, and we just tried to score the ball as much as we could. Everybody wants to think about it [the playoffs], but it’s one game at a time. And hopefully, we have a big road trip coming up next well, and hopefully we can take one game at a time to get a win and go from there.”

Milano made a 25 – 8 start in the first period and never looked back, more or less. Bayern reduced that margin but never lower than 10 points in some moments during the game and was 50 – 40 two minutes into the second half. The hosts closed the third quarter up 72 – 54 and turned the game into a rout down the stretch.

Andreas Obst led Bayern with a career-high 27 points while newcomer Zylan Cleatham scored 17 points in his best performance with the Bavarian side. Their team was without Cassius Winston (back), Ognjen Jaramaz (appendix) and Othello Hunter (back) apart from Aug Rubit.

“Milan was better,” said Bayern coach Andrea Trinchieri. “We had a second and third quarter that were OK, but then we were short on energy.”

Milano coach Ettore Messina was extra pleased to see Shavon Shields getting some minutes as he’s trying to return to form.

“I think we got some really good individual performances,” Messina said. |Of course, Shabazz [Napier] was again very, very good, but everybody else played well. Everybody participated, and the good news is that we had 16 good minutes from Shavon Shields, who looks to be coming close to the real Shavon. I am very happy, we played a good game. Now, we are just focused on one game at a time, and we will see.”