Messina’s team overtaken 81-76 by Alba and now officially in trouble in Europe
Fifty-eight seconds to go: Shields tries the triple of the equalizer, but the ball is spat out by the iron. Thirty-five seconds on the clock: Lammers tries a similar shot, but this time the ball goes in. The difference between a win and a defeat for Milan is all here. In Berlin, Olimpia’s comeback from -17 in which it fell in the third quarter stops on that Shields basket, with the next one by Lammers who delivers the 81-76 final to Alba and the fourth defeat to the Messina team in a row in Europe. The step backwards is evident with respect to the bubbly version of Milan, the one that after 9 games was at the top of the table after having dominated Barcelona and Fenerbahce and now finds itself sucked back. Injuries, especially in the long ward, are not a sufficient alibi to explain this involution.
Milan pays for its faults. The problems under the basket first of all, where Alba dominates 41-26, snatching 12 offensive rebounds. Messina did not have long-term resident Mitoglou and Tarczewski, in fiduciary isolation after a contact with a positive: the new addition Ben Bentil stood out (8 points and 6 rebounds in 9 ‘), but Melli was missing, slowed down by problems with fouls, and Ricci, for once not up to Messina’s confidence, Malcolm Delaney, 12 points, dropped to the distance, Sergio Rodriguez, 8 points and 6 assists, was the engine of Olimpia’s comeback in the third quarter but failed to make the difference. Milan also paid for the 11 triples granted at Alba, with Marcus Eriksson unleashed and better than his own (21 points and 5/8 from the arc). Defeat difficult to digest for Messina, because Berlin is inferior to Olimpia in the first part of the season and the coach has to work hard to find that team.
Berlin takes advantage of Melli’s return to the bench with 2 fouls after 3 ‘and takes advantage of Koumadje’s physique for 19-10 at 2’58 ”from the first siren. Milan, however, rearranges its ideas and patiently builds a comeback with Bentil’s energy, overtaking the second quarter at 20-19 just begun. Olimpia’s advantage did not last long, and always due to the problems of the longs: Messina stopped Bentil for the second foul, a minute later recalled Melli for the third. Delaney (11 points at rest) tries to keep Olimpia afloat, but Eriksson’s offensive rebounds and triples (3/3 at 20 ‘) launch Berlin on 43-34 at half-time. The hosts hurt at the start of the second half, escaping with the triples of the unleashed Eriksson at 62-45 at 4’24 “from the siren. Rodriguez and Melli try to shake Milan, but when the last quarter begins Berlin is ahead 67-56. Olimpia’s comeback is only postponed: in the middle of the period Messina’s team is down 71-70 after Delaney makes 2/3 from the line. The overtaking seems within reach, but Berlin stretches again and Milan is no longer able to take it back, failing with Shields at the beginning of the last minute the greedy chance of the equal that could have changed the match.
Berlin: Eriksson 21, Lo 12, Sikma 9
Milano: Delaney 12, Hynes 10, Shields 9
December 3, 2021 (change December 3, 2021 | 22:35)
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Milan, the turnaround fails: the fourth defeat in a row arrives in Berlin