Credit: Giuseppe Cottini/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Giuseppe Cottini/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

AX Armani Exchange Milan (12-6) hosted ALBA Berlin (6-12) in a make-up Round 18 game. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, December 29, the contest was postponed due to COVID-19 cases in the Milan squad.

Player of the Game
Sergio  Rodriguez
EFF
18
Sergio Rodriguez
Points 9
Accuracy 3-7
Rebounds 5
Assists 9

Armani came off a Round 20 road win at FC Barcelona, while ALBA played their first EuroLeague game since defeating AS Monaco in Round 17 on December 22. Ettore Messina's squad managed to get over ALBA, 84-76 (22-24, 16-16, 22-19, 24-17), and reached revenge.

The game was extremely close in the first three quarters (60-59). Milan's biggest lead marked 6 points while ALBA led the route by 5 at maximum.

The same scenario repeated at the start of the fourth period. Though, Malcolm Delaney and Nicolo Melli tried to inspire the game-deciding run but Luke Sikma reignited the fight (65-71).

Devon Hall made a reverse layup, Luigi Datome nailed a three-point shot, and Milan's advantage reached the double-digits (76-65), while ALBA seemed to be running out of gas.

Kyle Hines added a big finish (80-67) with 2:23 to go, but ALBA managed to respond with four straight free throws (71-80). However, Hines made another duo (82-71). Yovel Zoosman tried to flare up the will once again, converting the three, but Kyle Hines shut all doors (84-74) with 50 seconds to play.

Sergio Rodriguez was the top performer for Milan, posting 9 points (1/2 2PT, 2/5 3PT, 1/1 FT), 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, and 18 PIR. He also reached the 1,500 EuroLeague assists milestone.

"In the fourth quarter, we rallied a bit more, we had to push the pace. If not, we were in trouble. And then on defense, we were more aggressive. The energy was key today. It was another match, we had to win, to make the playoffs, so we're happy," El Chacho said post-game.

3-pointers this season

35%
9,3
Points made: 9,3
Accuracy: 34,7%
Place in standings: 4
Record max: 15
Record min: 6
Most made 3FGs: Marcus Eriksson

Luigi Datome contributed with the most points for the winners, accumulating 15 (3/3 2PT, 3/8 3PT) and adding 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, and 15 PIR to his performance.

"I think, in the second half, we moved the ball a little bit better, we found Datome for many open shots and he played a really good game. It's an important win and I hope we can build on this," spoke Messina.

Maodo Lo led the route for ALBA, registering 13 points (2/3 2PT, 2/3 3PT, 3/4 FT), 1 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, and 19 PIR.

"Once Milan increased their aggression on defense, we couldn't play as we had on offense. But I'm proud of my players, proud of their effort after 14 days without doing anything. I like the spirit of this team," Israel Gonzalez commented on losing effort.

Armani Exchange: Luigi Datome 15, Kyle Hines 12 (4 REB), Nicolo Melli 10 (9 REB), Giampaolo Ricci 10, Sergio Rodriguez 9 (5 REB, 9 AST), Kaleb Tarczewski 8, Jerian Grant 7.

ALBA: Maodo Lo 13 (4 AST), Yovel Zoosman 10, Tamir Blatt 9 (4 AST), Luke Sikma 9 (4 AST, 6 AST), Oscar Da Silva 8 (4 REB). 

Highlights

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AX Armani Exchange Milan
ALBA Berlin
52%
32/62
Field goals
45%
25/56
30
Rebounds
30
19
Assists
20
7
Steals
7
100%
11/11
Free throws
94%
17/18
64%
23/36
2-pointers
52%
16/31

Best players

Luigi  Datome
15 PTS
6/11 FG
0/0 FT
Maodo  Lo
13 PTS
4/6 FG
3/4 FT
Nicolo  Melli
9 REB
8 DREB
1 OREB
Louis  Olinde
6 REB
3 DREB
3 OREB
Sergio  Rodriguez
9 As
2 TO
21 MIN
Luke  Sikma
6 As
2 TO
25 MIN
Sergio  Rodriguez
18 EFF
50% 2P%
40% 3P%
Maodo  Lo
19 EFF
67% 2P%
67% 3P%