Micov's game-winner gives Milan OT win
Vladimir Micov's three-pointer left his hands a fraction of a second before the overtime buzzer to lift AX Armani Exchange Milan to a stunning 81-83 victory over Valencia Basket at La Fonteta on Thursday. Both teams now have 12-16 records in the standings. Sergio Rodriguez led the winners with 16 points, Micov finished with 13 and Michael Roll and Luis Scola each scored 11 for Milan. Alberto Abalde led Valencia with 21 points, Bojan Dubljevic added 19 and Maurice Ndour had 12 for the hosts. Down 5 with a minute left in regulation, Dubljevic and Abalde rallied Valencia to force overtime, 65-65. Dubljevic and Abalde combined for 13 points in the extra period, but Micov had the final word with the game-winning three-point shot.
Riccardo Moraschini got Milan going with a jumper that Keifer Sykes followed with a triple for a 0-5 lead. Ndour stepped up with a layup, but Micov answered with a running jumper and Moraschini added a driving layup for a 2-9 Milan lead. Abalde struck from downtown and added a backdoor layup, igniting an 8-0 run that Dubljevic capped with a triple that gave Valencia its first lead, 10-9. Drew Crawford hit a floater that Ndour erased with a big basket down low. Arturas Gudaitis rescued Milan with a jump hook and a layup, getting help from Scola to give the visitors a 12-19 lead after 10 minutes. Crawford took over with a put-back layup early in the second quarter but Fernando San Emeterio did better with a bomb from beyond the arc. Crawford joined the three-point shootout before Quino Colom started to find open shots for his teammates. Abalde and Mike Tobey delivered, keeping the hosts within 21-24. Scola answered with a tip-in, but Ndour quickly answered with a brutal dunk off a spin move. Micov buried a three-pointer and Sergio Rodriguez scored in penetration, but Dubljevic drew Valencia within 28-33. Tarczewski made it 28-36 at halftime.
Vanja Marinkovic banked in a close shot soon after the break and Ndour added a layup for a 32-36 scoreline. Colom bettered Sykes's jumper with a three-pointer and added a reverse layup off a steal that caused Milan to call timeout at 37-38. A three-point shootout started, as Roll, Colom, Rodriguez and San Emeterio all struck from downtown. Ndour stepped up with a put-back layup for a 45-44 Valencia edge. Scola scored down low and Tarczewski gave Milan fresh air at 45-48. San Emeterio and Tobey helped Valencia tie the game at 48-48 through three quarters. Rodriguez followed a stop-and-pop jumper with a driving layup early in the fourth quarter. He went on to feed Tarczewski for an alley-oop dunk that made it 48-54. Sastre and Tobey rescued Valencia with back-to-back three-pointers. Abalde scored in penetration and added a put-back basket to give the hosts the lead, 58-56, with over 4 minutes left. Roll hit a mid-range jumper and Micov downed a floater for a 58-60 Milan edge. Valencia missed several shots when it mattered most and Roll struck from downtown to give Milan a 5-point lead with a minute left. Abalde gave Valencia hope with a three-point play and Dubljevic hit free throws, tying it at 63-63 with 14.2 seconds remaining. Micov hit a floater but Abalde banked in a running jumper to even the score at 65-65. Milan had the ball with 2.6 seconds left in regulation, but Rodriguez missed at the buzzer.
Ndour took over with an alley-oop layup that gave Valencia a 67-66 lead early in overtime. Dubljevic made foul shots that Roll improved on with a corner triple that tied the game again, 69-69. Dubljevic answered from beyond the arc and rolled off a pick for a dunk that gave the hosts a 74-69 edge with 1:50 to go. Scola followed free throws with a layup that brought Milan within 76-73. Abalde stepped up with a driving layup, but Rodriguez quickly answered with a triple. Abalde drew a foul with 22.3 seconds left and calmly made free throws for an 80-76 score. Rodriguez managed to bring Milan within 81-80 with 8.3 seconds to go. Colom drew a foul and missed both attempts, which allowed Micov to bury the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
Vladimir Micov had the final word, but Milan would not have been able to win the game without Sergio Rodriguez, who kept his team close in overtime, allowing it to have a chance in the final seconds. He came off the bench to get 16 points and 9 assists for a team-high PIR of 20.
Alberto Abalde gave Valencia an 80-76 lead with 22.3 seconds left. Sergio Rodriguez drove for a quick basket, Abalde split free throws and El Chacho drew a foul and made both attempts for an 81-80 score. Milan fouled Quino Colom, who missed both attempts with 6.8 seconds left. Milan put the ball in Rodriguez's hands again and he found Vladimir Micov wide open for the game-winning triple from the top of the key on the buzzer.
Milan had a much better two-point shooting percentage, hitting 23-of-40 shots (57.5%). Valencia had more attempts, 43, and made fewer shots, 19, for a 44.2% percentage inside the arc. Despite playing overtime, Milan finished the game with just 10 turnovers in another key to the game.
Did you notice?
Milan remained undefeated at La Fonteta with its third win in as many visits. Milan defeated Valencia 69-80 in November 2010 behind 26 points from Jonas Maciulis. It needed double overtime to defeat Valencia 98-103 in November 2017. Curtis Jerrells led Milan that night with 30 points.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week, on Thursday, March 12. Valencia visits top-ranked Anadolu Efes Istanbul, while Milan welcomes Olympiacos Piraeus.
Friday, March 6, 2020