EA7 Olimpia Milano falls 87-73 in the final at Zalgiris Kaunas and is almost eliminated from the Euroleague, qualification for the play-ins hanging by a thread two days before the end of the season regular.

A highly publicized performance from Mirotic (19, 8/11 on the field, more than 3500 points in the Euroleague) is not enough, Olimpia – thanks to a defense not up to par in the last three quarters, points conceded in 30 ‘ – fails to win, yet another test of maturity with a truly modest recovery.

Evans (courted in November) finds no tackles and scores 20 points with only 12 shots attempted, Sunmer is a mixer and scores 17 in just 15′ (with a score of 28).

“We suffered from their penetrations on the goalkeepers”, analyzes coach Messina


The news (Source LBA Press Office) – Balanced start to the match, with cuts from Giedraitis and Butkevicius scoring the first Lithuanian baskets while Olimpia relies on the individual talent of Mirotic and Shields (6-5). A few bursts from Zalgiris inspired by Evans and Birutis illuminate the hosts, but an acceleration in the games of Shields and Mirotic leaves the match balanced at 12-11.

Subsequently, however, EA7 Emporio Armani places a break of 0-8 with Mirotic and Shields again (as well as an excellent Poythress) who makes the difference at the edge, before Sumner interrupts the green and white bleeding with the penetration of 14-17 after 10′ of the match.

After Lekavicius signed the local restart, an effective cut from Poythress responded to Manek’s bomb and Napier from the line put Milan back in front at 23-24. Following a combination between Evans and Hayes, the unstoppable Napier and an easy dunk from Voigtmann launch the EA7 Emporio Armani, Hall also sends the +4 bomb on target, before Butkevicius responds with the same piece (30-31 ).

At the end of the half, Tonut unleashed two consecutive bombs but Evans carried Kaunas on his shoulders and kept the match very balanced (35-37).

At the start of the second half, Giedraitis and Ulanovas took advantage of a few open shots to equalize with Mirotic (who is celebrating the milestone of 3,500 career points in the Euroleague) and his teammates and Evans then scored the running shot to score the goal. 41-39. With the recoveries of Sumner and Evans, Kaunas goes to +5, Napier and Mirotic are however ice cold by making two triples which stop the talent of Sumner and Evans, authors of the baskets of 52-46.

Milan then rely on Mirotic’s skill approaching the rim, but Sumner on the other side continues to create off the dribble for himself and crosses Hayes for +8 Zalgiris, before another pair of Mirotic pearls do keep the reds and whites in their wake. At the end of the quarter, Lekavicius scores an important bomb but Voigtmann deserves it and makes the two important free throws at the buzzer to bring the score to 59-54.

Sumner then breaks the deadlock with an off-the-dribble triple, Lekavicius gives Hayes the +10 shot but Shields gives EA7 Emporio Armani confidence with two incredible triples to make it 66-60 with 6 and a half minutes remaining.

The game then heats up with Sumner and Evans each signing another individual play, Hall tries to stop the bleeding from the point with a triple, then Poythress exchanges shots with Birutis under the scoreboards to keep Milan alive ( 72-65). A spectacular bomb from Napier was then canceled out by Butkevicius and a few errors from Napier and Mirotic then forced Milan to surrender, also due to further play from Sumner and Evans. It ends 87-73.


ZALGIRIS KAUNAS – EA7 EMPORIO ARMANI MILANO 87-73 (14-17, 21-20, 24-17, 28-19).

Zalgiris: Evans 20, Lekavicius 10, Hayes 8, Giedraitis 4, Birutis 7 (7 reb), Sumner 17 (5 ast), Butka ne, Dimsa, Lavrinovicius ne, Manek 3, Butkevicius 13, Ulanovas 4. Coach Trinchieri.

Olimpia Milan: Lo, Poythress 7, Tonut 8, Melli 1, Napier 17, Flaccadori, Hall 6, Caruso ne, Shields 11, Mirotic 19 (7 reb), Hines, Voigtmann 4. Coach Messina.


By wbu4c

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