By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
In his second EuroLeague game for the season, Kevin Punter delivered and together with Zach Leday (photo), and Shavon Shields led AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan to the 98-92 home win over Zalgiris Kaunas.
Punter with 22 points, Leday with 20, and Shields with 17 set the tone early, while Delaney added 13.
As Punter said after the game: “We dropped two straight, and we had to build things up as a team, to keep back on track is what we have to keep doing. I’m starting to get back in rhythm after a month and a half. I’m just trying to get my legs back, keep working, keep taking wins, and taking it day by day.”
Milano made the right plays down the stretch with Sergio Rodriguez and Delay scoring two consecutive big threes to make the score 89-82 with two minutes left.
“I think we finished very well in the last four or five minutes, and Kyle Hines was a huge key in our defense because he helped us defend the pick-and-roll. Winning is always important. It’s more important to get back players like [Kevin] Punter and Malcolm [Delaney]”, added coach Ettore Messina.
The hosts led even by 20 (62-42) at the start of the second half, Zalgiris cut the lead to nine (73-64) at the end of the third period and tied the score at 77 with six minutes left. However, they couldn’t complete a miraculous turnaround.
Rokas Jokubaitis who turned 20 on the 19th of November scored 15 points for the visitors and cut the lead to four (89-86) in a crucial moment. Lukas Lekavicius with 16 points and Augustine Rubit with 13 were also among the standouts for Zalgiris.