By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
It wasn’t the easiest of opening games for Ettore Messina’s Olimpia Milano, which struggled against a surprising NutriBullet Treviso coached by Frank Vitucci but still found the 86-80 win to open the 2023-24 LBA season as reigning Italian champions.
Shavon Shields was once again the red-and-white leader, scoring 22 points with 5 rebounds and 7 assists, while Alex Poythress followed with 16 points and 6 rebounds, being dominant on the glass.
Nikola Mirotic didn’t leave his best offensive night, having only 12 points (6/6 at the line) with 4 turnovers, but scored the decisive three-pointer with 3:17 minutes left to give Milano the 78-77 lead. “It’s never easy at the beginning, I was a little bit nervous before our first game at home. It wasn’t my best game, but a win is a win. We have to think about the next game”, he said after the victory.
On the other side – the losing one – the newcomer Pauly Paulicap provided a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds with 6/7 from two-point range. The 26-year-old point guard Deishuan Booker led his team’s offense with 13 points and 10 assists, another double-double. Moreover, the former Boston Celtics guard James Young, who last played with Kolossos Rodi, added 14 points.
— Olimpia Milano (@OlimpiaMI1936) October 1, 2023
Virtus Bologna started the LBA with a win as well
Milano wasn’t the only EuroLeague participant from Italy who struggled in its opening LBA night, as Virtus Bologna beat Givova Scafati 81-75 after a long battle on the road.
After being named MVP of the Italian Supercup in Brescia, Tornike Shengelia was once again decisive for Luca Banchi’s team, scoring 21 points with 7 rebounds. “It’s always very tough to play in Scafati, but we wanted to come out very seriously. We want to build on this, we’re gonna try to keep mistakes”, the Georgian said. Daniel Hackett added 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for the black-and-white side.
The home side saw Jack Nunge scoring 16 points with 7 rebounds in his first-ever professional game in Europe, while the 40-year-old David Logan had 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Coming back to LBA after one year in the Italian second division, Alessandro Gentile had 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
2023-24 LBA – Round 1 results
Dolomiti Energia Trentino – Vanoli Cremona 91-84
Reyer Venezia – Bertram Yachts Derthona Tortona 76-60
Germani Brescia – Carpegna Prosciutto Pesaro 81-79
Banco di Sardegna Dinamo Sassari – GeVi Napoli 90-111
EA7 Emporio Armani Milano – NutriBullet Treviso 86-80
Givova Scafati – Virtus Bologna 75-81
Openjobmetis Varese – Estra Pistoia (04/10 at 19:30 CET)
Happy Casa Brindisi – UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia (04/10 at 20:30 CET)
PHOTO CREDIT: Olimpia Milano