Olimpia is moving on to game 3, Messina: We need our defense, and to hit the open man on offense

Olimpia is moving on to game 3, Messina: We need our defense, and to hit the open man on offense

Olimpia moves to Germany up 2-0 in the best-of-five series

The series approaching Game 3 in Munich (on Wednesday 28 April, 20:45 tip-off time) has so far been a defensive series in which Bayern has been kept under 41 percent shooting from two-point distance and Olimpia shot below 30 percent from three-point range, far below both teams regular season numbers. Olimpia moves to Germany up 2-0 in the best-of-five series, after a comeback win in Game 1, that included the Delaney-LeDay combination buzzer beater, and after a big Game 2 win in spite Bayern’s comeback in the third period. Bayern is still the best EuroLeague team at home, with a 13-4 record, but one of those four losses was caused by Olimpia. Both teams played in their respective national leagues over the weekend: Olimpia won in Pesaro, another comeback win, while Bayern lost at home to Alba Berlin, but both teams didn’t use their full rosters and saved a lot of top players from playing big minutes again in the middle of the EuroLeague playoffs.

COACH ETTORE MESSINA – “We move to Munich to play the third game of a very open series. So far, all we did was taking advantage of the home court. We’ll have to play with patience, being sharp and solid in continuing to play well defensively and to hit the open man at the offensive end of the floor.”

KYLE HINES – “We have a great opportunity to close out the series, but we know very well that Bayern won’t make it easy for us. I expect them to play a very physical game, right from the beginning, and to give probably their best effort. So it’s up to us to match their intensity and play this game with the same spirit”.

REFEREES – Damir Javor (Croatia), Mehdi Difallah (France), Gytis Vilius (Lithuania).

GAME 1 – With a 26-11 second quarter, Bayern took a commanding 19-point lead, 40-21. Olimpia gradually recovered, were down 17 at half-time, then changed pace in the second half, returned to eight points down in the third, but then Bayern responded with three free throws made by Vladimir Lucic and the superb shooting of DJ Seeley (23 points, 5/5 from three). With a 6-0 run, Bayern built another 14-point momentary lead. Sergio Rodriguez’s second half was, however, outstanding. He scored 13 points in the half. The first attempt to take the lead in the fourth with a Kevin Punter three was unsuccessful, but with 1:17 left, Hines rebound puts LeDay in a position to tie the game. After two misses by James Gist from the line, Sergio Rodriguez made his third triple and Olimpia suddenly led by three. Bayern came back within one with two free throws made by Baldwin and with more by Gist retook the lead. With 1.2 seconds left, Delaney’s throw-in generates Zach LeDay’s 79-78 winning shot.

GAME 2 – Bayern starts the game 5-0, but right after Olimpia places a 20-0 run that affects the outcome of the game. Kevin Punter scores 20 points, 17 in the first half alone when the margin is 18 points. Thanks to a more intense approach in the second half, Bayern attempts a comeback, led by Wade Baldwin’s 23 points. The margin at one point has been reduced to six points. Olimpia responds with a Shavon Shields drive, then goes up by 17 early in the fouth and controls the closing minutes.

SERIES NOTES – Kevin Punter is averaging 15.5 points per game, eighth in the playoffs, second in the series behind Wade Baldwin’s 16.5. Baldwin is first overall in fouls received, 8.0 per game, and also is averaging 5.0 assists per game. Zach LeDay, fourth in the playoffs by index rating, is third in rebounds with 7.0 per game, half a rebound ahead of Kyle Hines. LeDay and Vladimir Lucic with 32.2 minutes on average are the two most used players so far in the series.

NOTES – Kevin Punter has had one steal in nine of the last 10 games and has made 37 of the last 38 free throws attempted. Besides, he’s scored at least 11 points in nine of his last 10 appearances.  Vlado Micov after clearing the 700-rebound barrier for his career now is two rebounds shy of 300 for his Olimpia career. Shavon Shields has scored in double figure in 13 of his last 14 appearances, and is 20 points away from 1.000 for his career, two rebounds shy of 100. Sergio Rodriguez is 10 assists away from 1.400 for his career and three shy of 300 with Olimpia. He is also 12 threes away from 500 and 22 points shy of 700 for Olimpia. Zach LeDay has made his last 20 free throws attempted, his 9-for-9 in Game 1 has been his second-best outing behind the 12-for-12 gane tha he had against CSKA Moscow in Milan. Kyle Hines is 16 away from Marcus Brown and from replacing him as the All-Time EuroLeague top American scorer. Browns has scored 2.739 points, Hines enters Game 3 at 2.723.

Fonte: Olimpia Milano.

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