Armani made a suit for Barcelona at the Palau. Hunger and the desire to eat came together to record Barça’s first Euroleague defeat on home soil after more than a year. Plunged into a mini-crisis, after defeats in the league against Zaragoza and Manresa, Barça could not react against a Milan plagued by losses, including Nikola Mirotic, who will be absent for at least six weeks, and who however put it “. heart, attitude and discipline”, in the words of Messina, their coach, very satisfied with the game of his men. “The discipline is to abandon the triple shots at the end of the match, because if you don’t succeed, they will hurt you very much, because you are tired.”
This in the end, of course, because in the beginning Milan were running and shooting from outside the line to gain an advantage that Barcelona could not neutralize throughout the match. The Italians’ first 12 points came from outside, with Shields spearheading his team, undetectable on the shot thanks to his teammates’ blocks and quick passes. The 10-19 start dismantled Barça, who wanted to respond in the same way, but with very little success. At 3’08 from the end of the first quarter, Armani doubled Barça on the scoreboard (12-24). A triple from Voigtman increased the gap which only a timid local reaction reduced to 10 points (19-29) before the end of time.
In the second quarter, the figure of Laprovittola seemed to try to bring order to the disorder with some incredible baskets, but the Argentinian’s spring quickly ran out, as Milan pressed with every action. At halftime, the Messina team led 40-51, after attempting 19 triples and scoring nine.
He gave up in the second half, when it looked like Barca were going even further, but no individual seemed to lead the comeback. Satoransky tried to be the protagonist, but the Italians immediately saw that it was not his day and floated him into the triples. He made plenty of mistakes (0 out of 4). No one else has tried it. Every time there was a hint of a reaction, a surprise arose from Armani, almost always from Hall (21 points). Barça never managed to take the lead on the scoreboard and when they had the opportunity to reduce the gap, strange things happened, apart from the disconcerting refereeing of the trio presented at the Palau , which pleased no one. The most notable action occurred, in one of Barça’s rare moments of fury, when Kalinic, who had made three of his five triple shots, attempted another to put his team within three points, and the ball rolled back when he cocked the shot. .
One more misfortune, among many others, which led Barcelona to its first defeat on home soil.
Olympiacos, 56 – Valencia, 63
Valencia completed a huge defense to dismantle Olympiacos in Piraeus (56-63), in a match with few goals, and not so much because of the shooting percentages, which remained at apparently normal figures, but because neither team was good. situations to score. Running was prohibited and chess moves were planned to free up shooting spaces. The composure of Jovic, Jones and Davies tipped the scales in favor of the Spanish team.
After a maximum tie in the first quarter (15-14), the balance was broken in the second, when Alex Mumbrú put the turbo on, both defensively and offensively. They left Olympiacos with just 11 points and took as many as 21 thanks to their own goals. It happened, yes, because, although it may seem exaggerated with a score that was nothing extraordinary, it seemed so in a clash in which hitting the opponent’s basket seemed to be an achievement. This 11-21 would determine the rest of the match, because in the third quarter we returned to a childish score (12-12) and once again this maximum tie which was only broken for ten minutes.
The Greek team put pressure on at the end of the match. Even though Davies kept his cool as Valencia’s metronome, and even though the gap remained around ten points, it was reduced to just five at 2:41. However, Valencia’s good defense continued to work, and although the lead remained at four with 12 seconds remaining, the ball belonged to Mumbrú’s team, who put the finishing touches with a three-way basket points at the buzzer.