By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
FC Barcelona is not unbeaten anymore, and Milan became the first team to beat the Catalans in the EuroLeague season after an impressive finish in a hard-fought game.
The final score was 83-70, with the hosts entering the last period trailing by six (58-52) and reacting with a 14-3 run. Milan got a 66-61 lead with Amedeo Della Vale scoring all his eight points during this run. Nikola Mirotic cut the lead to two with a three (66-64), but Sergio Rodriguez answered back with another three (71-64).
There was no coming back for Barcelona after that, as the last period ended with a partial score of 31-12 in favor of the hosts. Rodriguez with 17 points and Vladimir Micov with 16 were the leaders of the winners, but Della Vale was the catalyst, while Luis Scola missed the double-double for one rebound (14 p. 9 r.).
Brandon Davies with 15 points was the top scorer of the losing side, Nikola Mirotic added 13 and Barcelona couldn’t keep up in the last period with Milan’s energy.
It was an off night for the team of coach Svetislav Pesic, despite the return of previously injured Malcolm Delaney. Barcelona made seven out of 21 threes and lost the rebounding battle by eight (37-29)
The two opponents are now tied on the top of the league standings with CSKA Moscow, having a 5-1 record.
“We didn’t change anything”
“It’s always the same story. We play a little shy in the first half and then we play better in the second half. My players were very good throughout the whole game. I am grateful to them because it was important today. We had a sold-out arena in Milano and it’s always nice in the city when you can feel a warm relationship between the team and the crowd. And to do that in front of a fantastic team like Barcelona – a fantastic coach, great players – we’ve very happy. Unfortunately, it’s just one game and we have more than 30 games left”, said Ettore Messina after Milano‘s victory.
Photo credit: EuroLeague