Trento stands tall to defeat Milan 83-73 in Game 1
Dolomiti Energia Trento celebrated the highest-level game in club history by knocking off fellow-Italian visitors EA7 Emporio Armani Milan by 83-73 in near-record fashion in Game 1 of the Eurocup Quarterfinals on Tuesday. The second and final game of the series is next week in Milan, after which the winner on aggregate score will advance to the semifinals. Trento broke open a one-point game with a 16-2 run late in the third quarter. When Milan got as close as 73-70 with under 3 minutes left, Giuseppe Poeta and Davide Pascolo shared all the home team's points in a 10-3 finish to send their team forward with a double-digit advantage in the series. Poeta had 20 points to lead the winners, while Pascolo was right behind with 19 and 9 rebounds. Julian Wright had a double-double of 13 points, 10 rebounds, while Dominique Sutton and Trent Lockett scored 12 each for Trento. Led by Pascolo with 6 and Wright with 5,Trento's total of 25 was the second-highest in Eurocup history, after MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg had 26 earlier this season. Milan, which had led by as many as 8 points in the first half, was led by Mantas Kalnietis with 16 points, while Milan Macvan had 14 and Jamel McLean 12.
Wright took the opening tipoff and slammed to get the Trento crowd on its feet and Bruno Cerella responded with a corner triple for the visitors. Offensive rebounds led to Lockett feeding Sutton for a layup that became a three-point play but before Alessandro Gentile hit 2 of 3 free throws to tie it up. A strong reverse by Jamarr Sanders was answered by Andrea Cinciarini's jumper for Milan. Trento already had 7 offensive rebounds. Jamarr Sanders popped a jumper that Cinciarini matched with his own before McLean walked on-court and slammed for a 9-11 Milan lead and Poeta tied from the foul line for Trento. Macvan scored in close twice to get Milano back up 13-16, but Poeta tied it again in one shot and took the lead for Trento with free throws. McLean took it back with a layup, but Poeta decided the quarter in Trento's favor with a buzzer-beater from 8 meters to make it 21-19. Pascolo lifted Trento's lead with a put-back early in the second before Milan broke the hosts' pressure with a dunk by Rakim Sanders. When Gentile fired in a three, the difference was down to 25-24. Rakim Sanders posted-up and hit a finger roll to give Milan the lead and Kalnietis upped it to 25-28 with an inbounds layup. McLean added free throws and a long-distance alley-oop dunk before Gentile slammed on the break as the visitors raced ahead 26-34. Wright stopped the bleeding for Trento with back-to-back layups, forcing a Milan timeout. Lockett struck from downtown to make it 33-34 before Macvan returned with free throws for Milan. But Lockett launched another triple and it was tied again 36-36. Oliver Lafayette answered from even deeper for Milan, which found Macvan in transition for 31-36 advantage. Wright rolled in a jumper and Poeta raced away with a steal to make it 40-41. Pascolo took the honor of putting Trento back in front with a triple in the final minute, then Wright tipped in a miss at the buzzer to make it 45-41 for the hosts at the half.
A monster block by McLean led to a triple by Lafayette to start the third quarter. Lockett answered with a long two-pointer at 47-44, and when Kalnietis hit an open triple, it was tied again. A free throw by Sutton and a put-back by Pascolo, who soon went coast to coast for a layup, too, returned the lead to Trento, then Sutton finished his own steal with a dunk to make it 54-49. When Lockett hit a baseline jumper, Trento had its biggest lead. A layup by Rakim Sanders finally ended Milan's drought, but Pascolo matched him with a jumper. Lockett hit a turnaround next and Sutton a reverse on the break before Pascolo finished a broken play to give Trento a 66-53 lead after 30 minutes. Kalnietis restarted Milan to open the final quarter with a layup and assist to McLean. Poeta calmed Trento with free throws, but Lafayette kept Milan going with a triple. After Wright scored a put-back, Macvan hit from downtown, too, cutting the difference to 70-63. Pascolo and Macvan exchanged open layups and after a few more free throws traded hands, it was 73-67 with less than 4 minutes left. Macvan's tipped rebound to Kalnietis for a three-pointer got Milan within striking distance at 73-70. Trento needed someone, and Poeta showed up with a driving lefty layup he then converted into a three-point play. Next time down the floor, he stepped back and swished a seven-meter shot to make it 79-70. Gentile got a jumper for Milan but Pascolo erased it with his own put-back and then scored the final points at the foul line to cap a 10-point win for the hosts.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016