2019-20Regular SeasonRound 2
October 11, 2019 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

Milan downs Zalgiris, gets first win

AX Armani Exchange Milan registered its first win of the season by edging Zalgiris Kaunas 85-81 at home on Friday. Milan improved to 1-1 in the standings while Zalgiris dropped to 0-2. Sergio Rodriguez led the winners with 17 points. Jeff Brooks added 14, Vladimir Micov 13 and Luis Scola 11 for Milan. Thomas Walkup led Zalgiris with 19 points off the bench. Marius Grigonis added 13 and Jock Landale had 10 for the guests. Brooks, Scola and Micov shined early to give Milan a 23-7 lead after 10 minutes. A 0-10 run that Lukas Lekavicius capped with a three-pointer brought Zalgiris to within 23-17 early in the second quarter. Zalgiris kept pushing, scoring 29 points in the second quarter, but Rodriguez and Scola kept Milan ahead, 43-36, at the break. Walkup and Paulius Jankunas helped Zalgiris get a bit closer, 64-59, at the end of the third quarter. Zalgiris managed to get within 81-79 in the game's final minute, before free throws by Micov and Rodriguez sealed the outcome.

A corner triple by Brooks and a dunk by Kaleb Tarczewski gave Milan a 5-0 lead. Then Scola struck from downtown, forcing a Zalgiris timeout. Aaron White's three-point play soon ignited a new Milan run of 10-0 in which Micov followed a three-pointer with a jumper to make it 20-4. Arturas Milaknis and Brooks traded bombs from beyond the arc to fix the score at 23-7 after 10 minutes. A jumper by Milaknis and a three-point play by Zach LeDay helped Zalgiris start its own 0-10 run, which Lekavicius capped with a triple at 23-17. Scola rescued Milan with a couple of baskets but LeDay and Nigel Hayes brought the guests even closer, 27-23. Rodriguez struck twice from downtown and added a jumper, getting help from Tarczewski to boost the lead back to double digits, 37-26. Lekavicius and Jankunas were joined by Walkup as Zalgiris clawed to within 43-36 at halftime. Tarczewski and Amedeo Della Valle each hit a jumper right after the break for Milan, but Lekavicius and Landale kept Zalgiris as close as 47-41. Rodriguez stepped up again with a floater and no-look assist to Paul Biligha, boosting the Milan advantage to 55-43. Jankunas and Grigonis started a new Zalgiris run that Hayes capped with a triple for a 55-50 score. Zalgiris found a new go-to guy in Walkup but Della Valle and Michael Roll kept Milan ahead, 64-59, after 30 minutes. Jumpers by Roll and White forced another timeout by Zalgiris, at 68-59. Walkup kept scoring but Rodriguez, from downtown, and Scola, on a put-back, made it 73-63. However, Walkup followed a three-point play with a driving layup to keep Zalgiris alive at 73-70 with 6 minutes left. Micov stepped up with a reverse layup and Roll added a jumper that gave Milan fresh air, 77-70, with over 3 minutes left. Landale scored twice in the paint and Grigonis followed a three-pointer with a turnaround jumper as Zalgiris got to within 81-79 with 25.6 seconds left. That's when Micov and Rodriguez made free throws to put Milano's victory on ice.

Pivotal performer

Rodriguez made the difference with a great performance, finishing the game with 17 points by making 2 of 3 two-point shots, 3 of 4 threes and 4 of 4 free throws. He added 6 assists for a PIR of 24.

Game-changing moment

Seven unanswered points by Walkup allowed Zalgiris to get within 73-70 with 6 minutes remaining. However, Milan improved its defense then, holding Zalgiris scoreless for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, a reverse layup by Micov and a baseline jumper by Roll gave the hosts a 77-70 lead. It came down to free throw accuracy, but those minutes of good defense gave Milan control down the stretch.

Stellar stat

Milan shot the ball better, hitting 50% of its attempts from downtown (7 of 14) and 56.4% inside the arc (22 of 39). Zalgiris hit 50% of its two-point shots (21 of 42) and 35.3% from downtown (6 of 17).

Did you notice?

Walkup had a career-best performance, setting new personal record in scoring (19) and PIR (24). He had 17 of his 19 points in the final 14 minutes of the game, keeping Zalgiris close until the final seconds.

Next game:

Both teams return for Round 3 on Thursday, October 17. Zalgiris welcomes still-undefeated Real Madrid at 19:00 CET. Milan visits Panathinaikos OPAP Athens at 20:30 CET.

Sergio Rodriguez - AX Armani Exchange Milan - EB19
Friday, October 11, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: GARCIA, JUAN CARLOS; DIFALLAH, MEHDI; FOUFIS, IOANNIS
Attendance: 7218
By Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan23202121
Zalgiris Kaunas7292322
End of Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Milan23436485
Zalgiris Kaunas7365981
AX Armani Exchange Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
00 DELLA VALLE, AMEDEO 5:24 4 1/1   2/2                 1 1 4
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 24:37 13 3/6 1/2 4/4           2     1 4 10
6 BILIGHA, PAUL 15:48 4 1/3   2/2 1   1   1   1   2 2 5
9 MORASCHINI, RICCARDO 4:42   0/1               2         -3
10 ROLL, MICHAEL 23:46 6 3/5 0/1   1 4 5 1   4     2 1 4
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 28:34 17 2/3 3/4 4/4   1 1 6 1 2 2   3 4 24
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB 15:52 8 3/5   2/2 1 5 6           4 1 9
20 CINCIARINI, ANDREA 8:59     0/1     1 1 1         2   -1
23 BURNS, CHRISTIAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
30 WHITE, AARON 19:59 8 2/4   4/5 1 1 2     1 1   1 5 11
32 BROOKS, JEFF 30:46 14 3/3 2/3 2/2 2 3 5 3 2   1   1 1 24
40 SCOLA, LUIS 21:33 11 4/8 1/3 0/2 4   4 3 1 1     4 4 10
Team             1 1     2         -1
Totals 200:00 85 22/39 7/14 20/23 10 16 26 14 5 14 5 0 21 23 96
        56.4% 50% 87%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 24:33 19 7/9 0/1 5/5   4 4 2 1 1     2 4 24
2 PEREZ, ALEX 5:57   0/1 0/1   2   2 1 1         1 3
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 18:49 11 4/7 1/1   1   1 4 2     2 4 1 10
10 HAYES, NIGEL 24:37 5 1/3 1/2   2 3 5           2 1 6
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 5:29 6 0/1 0/1 6/6 1 1 2             4 10
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 33:37 8 1/2 2/3     2 2 1 2 1     3   7
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS 6:31 2 1/1       1 1 1   1         3
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 LEDAY, ZACH 17:17 5 1/6 0/1 3/3 1 2 3 1       1 4 3 1
34 LANDALE, JOCK 26:06 10 2/5 1/3 3/4 2 2 4     2   1 2 3 6
40 GRIGONIS, MARIUS 24:13 13 3/5 1/4 4/4           1   1 3 4 7
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 12:51 2 1/2     2   2   1 4     3   -3
Team           4 1 5     3         2
Totals 200:00 81 21/42 6/17 21/22 15 16 31 10 7 13 0 5 23 21 76
        50% 35.3% 95.5%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS

Head Coaches

MESSINA, ETTORE
AX Armani Exchange Milan

"It was a great contest, with two teams that battled aggressively, with physicality, very well-organized. I think we did some very good things. Of course, there are things that, being early in the season, we need to address and we will do, but it is a good win. We are very happy we won."

"It is always important to start at home with a win. It was a very hard-played game by both teams, with good things by both teams and mistakes by both teams. I think that today, after a very good start, we had our moments when we struggled defensively. We had some problems with fouls that didn't help our rotation, and Zalgiris came back, even when we had almost a good lead for a great part of the game. Congratulations to my players and to Zalgiris for competing for 40 minutes."

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"Congratulations to Milan. Milan was a little bit better today. We started the game unacceptably for these types of situations, exactly what I was afraid of coming from a young team that changed many players and doesn't understand the EuroLeague away game situation. When we got back in the game, little things decided the game. Milan was a little bit more experienced and just able to understand how to manage these types of situations. I am very happy for our basketball in the last three quarters. The first quarter cost us the game. Walkup took advantage of the situations we tried to explain, the advantages we had as a team against Milan. He understands the system a little bit better than the rest. He had a great second half but was very poor in the first half. We started to play a little bit more physical. I believe that, in the first quarter, Milan dominated us physically. It was looking like men playing against the boys a little bit. When we started to not simply play basketball, but also competing as men, we started to look much better."

Players

BROOKS, JEFF
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"Every game in the EuroLeague is hard, every single one. It doesn't matter if it is the first or the last one. All we did today is keep playing. A team like Zalgiris is never going to go away. They are going to fight from the first minute to the last minute of the game. We just bonded together on the floor, continued to play strong, got some rebounds. Sergio (Rodriguez), Vlado (Micov) and Michael (Roll) made some big shots for us tonight. We just have to ride this momentum until the next game. I am just trying to make plays. That is what Coach is telling me every day, in every practice, in every walk-through, in every game: just go out there, be myself and help the team with my energy and my passion for the game. That is all I took to the floor tonight. I just want to keep that momentum going as well."
RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO
AX Armani Exchange Milan
"It is a big win for us. We were really looking forward to this game, especially being the first one at home. We know how difficult it is to win in the EuroLeague and want to make our home very strong and get a good feeling every time we come. We are working really hard. We are a new team and have to get together, but we are working hard every day to keep building on the things that we are doing."
WALKUP, THOMAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"That start that we had really came back to bite us on the butt. It is very tough to play a hard-fought game like that for three quarters, but in the EuroLeague, you cannot get away with that. Every possession matters. As for the second half, it is just how the game goes. Coach is great about whenever someone has the hot hand, run that. And tonight, I tried to go on. Like he says all the time, it is a long season, everybody has their own night and tonight, it happened to be mine. We have to improve on the details. We are a hard-nosed team and every single point matters, every single detail matters, and when we have slips-us like tonight, good teams like Milano are going to punish them. That is exactly what happened. We have to clean those little details up."
No results found.