Armani Jeans Milano ended a four-game losing streak and beat EWE Baskets Oldenburg for the second time this season on Wednesday in the Italian fashion capital. Milano surged ahead with runs of 7, 10 and 14 unanswered points in the first, second and third quarters, respectively, and continued to pad its lead until taking the very end for a 79-51 victory. Milano improved to 2-5 and will host Asseco Prokom next week in a showdown that could decide fourth place and the last ticket to the Top 16 from Group D. Oldenburg lost its sixth straight in falling to 1-6 as its chances to reach the next stage begin to disappear. EWE Baskets hosts Khimki in a must-win showdown next week. Marius Petravicius could not be corralled in the paint and finished with 16 points to lead Milano, while Stefano Mancinelli did much of his damage early en route to 15. Mike Hall added 13 points on 3-for-5 three-point shooting. Overall Milano went 8 for 15 from downtown (53.3%). Je'Kel Foster led Oldenburg with 10 points. Jason Gardner, the 2009 German League MVP who missed the start of this season with back trouble, made his first Euroleague appearance in over six seasons and scored 9 points.
Oldenburg won the opening tip and Foster put the visitors on the scoreboard first. Marco Mordente hit Milano's first basket. Bryan Bailey sank a triple to put Oldenburg ahead, but the teams continued to trade shots and soon a Mancinelli triple made it 10-7. Mordente drilled another three as Armani Jeans doubled Oldenburg, 14-7. Foster fired back from downtown only to see Mancinelli catch fire with a basket and a three for a 9-point Milano advantage. Back-to-back triples from Bailey and Milan Majstorovic brought the German champs within 3. Petravicius took charge at the end of the quarter, drawing a foul, sinking 2 free throws and then scoring in the paint for a 23-16 lead after 10 minutes.
Petravicius picked up where he left off by scoring the first basket of the second quarter. Marko Scekic made a free throw for the visitors, but a triple by Massimo Bulleri took Armani Jeans to its first double-digit lead. The hosts threatened to put the game away early as Petravicus added another bucket and Hall scored 2 from the line. Hall then stepped outside and delivered a triple to cap a 10-0 charge for a 35-17 lead. Just when it seemed over, Oldenburg fought back. Paulding sank a pair of free throws and Majstorovic scored a basket ad from the line. Gardner’s first basket of the season narrowed the gap to 11. Mancinelli made a pair of free throws to keep Milano comfortably ahead. Mason Rocca got the lead up to 14 before Majstorovic sank 2 free throws to make it 41-29 at halftime.
The second half started slow with neither team making a basket for over two minutes until Rickey Paulding made a layup and drew a foul. Mordente made 2 free throws, which Jasmin Perkovic matched with a basket. Rocca scored inside for Milano's first basket of the half nearly five minutes into the third quarter. The hosts picked up their effort on defense as a Maciulis steal led to a Mancinelli slam. Finely scored from the line and later delivered a cross-court assist to an open Hall for a triple from the elbow that took the Milano lead over the 20-point mark. Petravicius padded the lead from the line before Hall capped the third quarter with an exclamation point, slamming home a Petravicius miss to cap a 14-0 run for a 59-34 lead.
After going scoreless for the last five minutes of the third quarter, Oldenburg started the fourth quarter with some energy as Foster scored on the break and Josh Carter tallied his first basket. Maciulis found an open Hall for a three-pointer as the game took on an open feeling. The teams started to trade baskets with defense taking a backseat as Gardner got involved for Oldenburg and Petravicius found room to score inside. Foster became the first Oldenburg player to 10 points, but fouled out soon after. With the outcome clear, Milano gave Jeff Viggiano the chance to shine and he responded with a basket, a triple and a pair of sweet passes to Maciulis and Petravicius as the lead swelled until peaking on Petravicus's final basket at 28.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009