Messina’s team confirms the progress shown and after the victory against the leaders Olympiacos, beats Valencia with a thrill in the final and further shortens the margin from the top 8.
Yes, it needs to be said. Olimpia Milano is definitively healed. After the extraordinary success on 3 March against Olympiacos, the red and white confirmed their moment of grace in the European arena, also beating Valencia away 88-84 and conquering the fifth consecutive victory. Both teams arrived at the challenge distant from the top 8 positions and therefore from the Playoffs, with the imperative of winning to further fuel hopes of glory.
Monumental proof of Shabazz Napier, author of a series of fundamental baskets in the last quarter and the two free throws of the safety with 4.6 seconds left for a total of 28 points with 5 assists and 5 fouls committed. Also in double figures are Pippo Ricci (12 points), Billi Baron (10 points), Kevin Pangos (12 points) and Nick Melli, who finishes with 11 points and 7 rebounds, including the decisive one who gives away one possession at 84-86 gold to the guests in the final seconds, picking up the offensive rebound after Napier’s mistake in the foul line – the only one of the evening.
Milan had started very badly, with several turnovers in the first half (closed at -3 on 42-39 for Jones and partners) and difficulty in stemming the exuberance of the Spaniards. In the third quarter, however, the reaction from Napier and Ricci arrives, bringing the lead into double figures before the thrill of the final seconds, resolved by precision in the line and by Melli’s fundamental play. Playoffs hopes remain feeblebut until mathematics condemns the guys from Messina, today with a record of 11-15 and 2 victories away from eighth place, the dream remains alive.
The New York Knicks have found the key to success and can dream big
The scores of the two teams:
Valencia: Puerto 15, Harper 15, Claver 2, Prepelic 4, Webb 5, Jones 19, Dubljevic 8, Radebaugh, Pradilla, Lopez-Arostegui 6, Rivero 10
Milan: Napier 28, Voigtmann 7, Luwawu-Cabarrot, Ricci 12, Melli 11, Baron 10, Davies, Pangos 13, Tonut 3, , Shields, Hines 4
(Piece being updated)