The road loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv was the 18th in Olimpia Milano's EuroLeague season and the one that irrevocably sealed the Italian's team fate.

Credit: Simone Lucarelli/LiveMedi/SIPA
Credit Simone Lucarelli/LiveMedi/SIPA

It keeps getting worse every year for EA7 Emporio Armani Milan.

In 2021, the Italian powerhouse made it to its first EuroLeague Final Four in the modern era, since their last presence in European club basketball's premier event was back in 1992.

In 2022, the team coached by Ettore Messina made the playoffs through the 4th spot in the regular season, before being wiped out 3-1 by future back-to-back champs Anadolu Efes.

And this season, after going through an expensive summer campaign with marquee signings like Kevin PangosJohannes Voigtmann, and Brandon Davies, the outcome was no less disappointing. 

Following a 85-66 blowout at the hands of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, Milan were officially eliminated from the playoffs, giving up on their last mathematical chances. Roman Sorkin and Lorenzo Brown provided the necessary scoring punch for the hosts and also dealt the final blow to their struggling opponents. 

Even if Milan had somehow managed to survive the game in Tel Aviv, if Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade beat Real Madrid or Zalgiris Kaunas overcame Valencia Basket (both games scheduled for Friday, March 31), the outcome would be the same.

Despite the poor performances of the first half of the season, Olimpia Milan had been in great form over the past couple of months. Since the arrival of American/Puerto Rican point guard Shabazz Napier, they won 8 of their last 9 EuroLeague games, losing only against Real Madrid in a very close game.

Shavon Shields, one of the team's stars, has played, so far, only 7 games in EuroLeague due to a foot injury that kept him out for almost 4 months. Kevin Pangos and Gigi Datome have also missed a good chunk of the season due to physical problems.

In their last outings, Milan had to play without another extremely important player like Devon Hall.

Ultimately, the current mix didn't mesh together and the Italian squad was forced to an early exit. Last time that happened was in the pre-covid era, in 2018-19, when Simone Pianigiani was coaching Milan and Mike James served as the team's leader.

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