Napoli wrote HISTORY by winning the Italian Cup over a disastrous Milano

2024-02-18T19:51:44+00:00 2024-02-18T21:45:00+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

18/Feb/24 19:51

18 years after the first time, Napoli pulled another historic upset to win the second Italian Cup in the club’s history

By Cesare Milanti /

TURIN, Italy – 18 years ago, Napoli lived the most unbelievable and unpredictable chapter of its basketball life, beating Virtus Roma at the end of a roller-coasting 2006 Final Eight, finding the first-ever trophy in the club’s history. Tonight, they wrote history once again.

After taking down Brescia and Reggio Emilia, Igor Milicic’s team played the perfect game to beat Ettore Messina’s Milano 77-72. Napoli’s hero was once again Tyler Ennis, who ended his experience in Turin by flirting with the triple-double: he had 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Giving an extra effort on defense covering Shavon Shields, Michal Sokolowski had 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jacob Pullen had 14 points over 6/6 at the charity stripe, and banked in the three-pointer to win the game, bringing Napoli to glory once again almost 20 years in the making.

“This is huge, this is history We came here like underdogs, we gave it all out. This is history. After a lot of years, we have a title in Napoli”, Igor Milicic said to Eurohoops after the win on the court. “It’s big for our organization, for our players. Especially for the way we did it, we led the whole contest. I’m proud of everybody who stepped up to win this trophy”, he said in the post-game press conference.

Nicolò Melli had foul troubles throughout the encounter, but still managed to come out with an amazing performance of 20 points and 8 rebounds, shooting 7/11 from the field. Nikola Mirotic followed him with 19 points, while Shavon Shields found one of the worst nights of his life shooting 2/13 from the field, despite giving hope late in the encounter to the red-and-white Italian powerhouse.

“We were mediocre on defense. On offense, we played worryingly. Suffering their aggressiveness on our guards, we finished with the feeling of putting it back with one action. They extra deserved to win this Italian Cup. We know that we failed, and we need to be better. Unfortunately, it’s a leitmotiv for this season. It’s a suffering stepback”, Ettore Messina commented in the post-game press conference.

Napoli started the game well putting once again Tariq Owens in the starting five, leading 15-8 after 4:54 minutes of playing time. They stayed ahead 24-19 after the first ten minutes of the game thanks to Tyler Ennis’ late three-pointer. Milano had a 7-0 scoring run in the second quarter to try to reduce the gap, but Igor Milicic’s team didn’t completely lose focus, going at halftime up by seven points (43-36).

Things didn’t really change at the beginning of the second half, producing a quick 5-0 run and keeping Shavon Shields silent once more. At 7:55 on the clock in the third, Tariq Owens was forced to leave the court after being hit on the nose. Nicolò Melli brought Milano’s deficit to three points (50-47), also thanks to Markel Brown’s temporary absence from the court with four fouls.

After three marvelous quarters, Napoli was leading 60-53. In the remaining ten minutes of the Italian Cup Final, both Nicolò Melli and Nikola Mirotic found themselves in foul trouble with 4 each but still stayed on the court of the Inalpi Arena, sold out once again. With 2:54 left, Tariq Owens flew for an outstanding alley-oop, pushing Napoli up 68-62 in the crunch minutes of an outstanding game.

Shavon Shields scored his first basket from the field at 1:08 left, bringing Milano down by two points (70-68). The American-Danish forward gave Milano the first lead of the game at 71-70 with a clutch three-pointer, but Jacob Pullen quickly replied with the most clutch shot of the 2024 Final Eight, bringing Napoli up 73-71 with 13.4 seconds left. Milano couldn’t get back in the game anymore.

2024 LBA Italian Cup Final Eight


EA7 Emporio Armani Milano – Dolomiti Energia Trentino 80-57
Umana Reyer Venezia – Estra Pistoia 86-71
Virtus Segafredo Bologna – UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia 72-81
Germani Brescia – GeVi Napoli Basket 80-74


EA7 Emporio Armani Milano – Umana Reyer Venezia 100-77
UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia – GeVi Napoli Basket 78-87


EA7 Emporio Armani Milano – GeVi Napoli Basket 72-77

PHOTO CREDIT: Ciamillo-Castoria / EA7 Emporio Armani Milano

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