While four games were canceled by EuroLeague because of numerous Covid cases in different teams, luckily we could still see some great basketball yesterday.
The Fenerbahce-Olympiacos derby didn’t disappoint neither, but the game of the day was certainly the one played in the Palau Blaugrana between Barcelona and Armani Milan.
Sergio Rodriguez put on a show in the first half of the game in Catalunya. “Chacho” scored 10 out of the 14 points of his team in the first quarter, while no Barca player scored more than one basket in the opening period. In the second quarter Rodriguez continued his great performance and Ben Bentil also had a great second quarter, a period in which he contributed with 7 points and 3 rebounds.
Barcelona came into the game as the best scoring team in this season’s EuroLeague with over 84 points per game, but Jasikevicius and his team was struggling to find baskets and the Italians went into the halftime with a 34-28 lead. Both coaches complained in the halftime flash interviews that their teams struggled with turnovers (Barca had 11, Milan 10).
The second half started with a much more determined Barca team that turned the game around fast and even took a 10 point lead in the 3rd quarter. Going into the the last quarter Barca was leading by seven points, 54-47, but Milan found resources to come back. Former Barca player Malcolm Delaney proved to be the clutch player that Ettore Messina needed for his team to win the game. The American point guard scored three 3 pointers in the last 5 minutes and the Italians won the game with the final score of 75-73. It was the second win this season for Armani Milan against Barca, after their 75-70 triumph back in November.
For the winning team Sergio Rodriguez finished with 18 points and Malcolm Delaney had 15. Kyle Kuric had another amazing performance for Barca: the American sharpshooter finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds and a PIR of 29, by far the best from both teams.
Barca will stay in the Palau Blaugrana as they are scheduled to host Efes tomorrow, another very tough game for Jasikevicius and his team. Milan will travel home, but unfortunately they will not play on Thursday, as their game against Unics was suspended because of the many Covid cases that appeared at the Russian team.