By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Olimpia Milano had everything under control against Alba Berlin and logged a 75-55 home win in the rescheduled EuroLeague Round 6 game.
The Italian team was off to a somewhat of a frantic start with a few turnovers and easy points for Alba, however, they consolidated soon after and took over control of the game.
Kevin Punter was on point early on with seven points in the first quarter without a miss and those sparked a 16-0 run of Milano (27-13) which carried on the momentum and was up 42-22 at halftime, allowing only nine points to Alba in the second quarter.
Despite a good offensive display, Punter pointed to defense as his main focus this time: “Coach got in us this week on defense and just moving forward, so we had to just lock in mentally even more and really focus defensively. Defense leads to a lot of our good offense, so he was on us about defense and we had to pick it up a notch. I’m confident and just trying to be aggressive as much as possible.”
Punter finished the game with 14 points followed by Sergio Rodriguez and Zach LeDay with 12 points each.
On the other side, despite plenty of pressure on the guards by Milano, Peyton Siva and Maodo Lo found a way to score 11 points each. However, there was very little Alba managed to create offensively throughout the match.
Alba showed some effort in the second half to try and bounce back but they just couldn’t cut the gap below 18 points (73-55) as coach Ettore Messina didn’t allow his squad to relax and used his time-outs to stop any momentum run in the making by Alba.
Overall, the coach was satisfied: “I think it’s very important [to play consistently] because probably the second half was not so, let’s say, exciting like the first half, but we kept the lead and that allowed me to rotate all the players. And when you can cut the minutes of the players, especially now when we are going to play two games a week probably for two months, it’s a huge key. So I’m very happy about that. It’s a good win. They’re a good, aggressive and athletic team, they were missing also a couple of key players. So it’s a good win and now we start preparing for Panathinaikos.”
Milano improved to 6-3, the same number of wins as Real Madrid, Anadolu Efes, and Zenit Saint Petersburg, while Alba now holds a 3-7 record.