Datome knocks out Valencia Basket in Milan

The Italian forward, with 27 points, equals his best mark in the Euroleague and leaves Jaume Ponsarnau's men out of the Top-8 of the competition.


Milan leaves Valencia Basket out of the Top-8 of the Euroleague. Those of Ettore Messina, with an amalgam of stars whose best moment is past, and with Kevin Punter, the scorer from the Bronx, at full capacity at 27 years old, did not give the taronja any truce. However, it was veteran Luigi Datome who caused panic at Mediolanum Forum, equaling his best mark in the competition (27 points), leading his team to the tenth victory.

Two of the best attacks in the Euroleague, third and fourth, got off to an erratic start at the Mediolanum Forum. Three attacks and three losses for the taronja and two minutes without scoring to start. It was Ricardo Moraschini who opened the scoring with a 3 + 1 and Joan Sastre responded with a triple to release the taronjas. What was an instant for Milan, for Ponsarnau's was the glimpse of what was to come. However, without Bojan Dublejvic in the rotation, in the first quarter he remained the type thanks to the uncontrolled physique of Derrick Wiliams and the irruption of Louis Labeyrie, with Nikola Kalinic giving a clinic from the post. Messina smelled it and put Datome on top of the Serbian and put the corners to the test to close the quarter ahead (21-20). The appearance of the Italian was decisive.

Kalinic opened fire at the restart to put Valencia ahead. For an instant. Datome, 2 + 1 and triple by, put the first distance. There Kyle Hynes appeared to break stone in the paint with two consecutive baskets and Chacho joined the triple party (40-22). Ponsarnau stopped the meeting and entrusted himself to the saints: San Eme on the track. He and Williams, the most outstanding of the taronja, put one more point of intensity and this time Messina did not hesitate for a second to stop him. Kevin Punter and Zach LeDay, plus the success in the corners, with Michel Roll and Datome as the protagonists, left Valencia without reaction and missing the Dubljevic reference. LeDay feasted to take the lead to 18 points before going through the dressing room (54-36) .

Reaction taronja

The Texan interior returned after the break up and nailed a mate that Williams himself would sign to put a 20 difference before the number two of the 2011 Draft. With Derrick as the only solution in attack, the Valencians were diluted in Italy. Malcolm Delaney did damage with a 3 + 1 and only Kalinic showed some pride with a blow of rage: recovery in his own court and basket. With more than 20 below, his attitude and self-esteem is unquestionable. A triple of his reduced distances and Tobey jumped on the car to force Messina to intervene again (65-48). With 17 of difference, the Italian coach did not want to give up. Datome, with 18 points, got the message with a triple from, of course, the corner. Van Rossom replied to the other side of the court to give some air. Between Williams and Kalinic, they proposed to amend the tie, putting makeup on for the fourth quarter (76-60) .

Klemen Prepelic was released from the triple early in the fourth quarter and Labeyrie took the fourth foul on a defensive rebound to LeDay. Good news to start the final leg. Vives, from the line, put a 5-0 partial to dream. The key: defense. Labeyrie sent the distance to only nine points (76-67) and made Messina's men tremble, who stopped the match. He had still left in Milan. Prepelic, important in the reaction, cut from the free kick. To seven. Datome was the only one keeping his cool on a team where wide shots and fluid attacks left room for improvisation and nerves. Delaney and Vives exchanged baskets to bring the score to ten (81-71). But Punter broke in to change the trend. In a moment of inspiration, the Italians returned to +15 expounded by Datome. With 27 points he equaled his best mark in the Euroleague, and there were still two minutes to go. After fighting him in the final stage, the Italian was left with the record. Thus ended the meeting.

Photos from as.com
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