Van Rossom leads Valencia to fourth win
In an intense game that went down to the wire, Valencia Basket confirmed its good moment by downing AX Armani Exchange Milan 86-81 at La Fonteta on Friday. Valencia improved to 4-2 while Milan dropped to 3-2. Sam Van Rossom led the winners with 21 points. Klemen Prepelic added 14 and Nikola Kalinic had 10 for Valencia. Shavon Shields led Milan with 17 points. Kyle Hines added 13, Vladimir Micov had 12 while Michael Roll and Zach LeDay each got 10. Valencia led most of the way and an outstanding Van Rossom allowed the hosts to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Guillem Vives and Van Rossom got Valencia going three-pointers. Shields and Sergio Rodriguez each downed jumpers and Roll added a triple but Bojan Dubljevic kept the hosts in charge. Rodriguez and Roll kept pacing Milan but Derrick Williams dunked and Dubljevic made Valencia regain the lead, 14-12. Leday and Jeff Brooks dunked but Williams kept the hosts ahead, and Martin Hermannsson beats Shields' jumper with a triple that ended the first quarter 24-18. Gigi Datome stepped up with a three-point play early in the second quarter. Mike Tobey answered with a dunk-and-foul, Hermannsson scored in penetration and Prepelic buried a triple for a 32-23 Valencia lead. Louis Labeyrie struck from downtown and added a layup but Rodriguez and Roll got Milan closer. Hines and Micov combined for a 0-6 run but Prepelic restored a 39-33 Valencia lead. Shields scored down low, Hines added consecutive baskets and Datome sank a three-pointer that tied it, 42-42, and a buzzer-beating jumper by Micov fixed the halftime score at 42-44. Hines dunked right after the break and Shields added a driving layup for a 42-48 Milan lead, after a 0-11 run. Kalinic had the opening 4 points in an 8-0 run that Vives capped with a layup, making Milan stop the game at 50-48. Dubljevic swished a triple but LeDay and Kaleb Tarczewski kept Milan within 53-52. Kalinic scored down low and Labeyrie ignited the crowd with an alley-oop slam. Shields followed a jumper with a three-pointer and Micov added a jump hook to keep Milan close, 61-59. Van Rossom rescued Valencia, making it 66-61 after 30 minutes. Prepelic struck from beyond the arc early in the fourth but Roll and Hines kept Milan close, 69-65. Tobey scored in the paint and another triple by Prepelic boosted Valencia's lead, but Shields and LeDay fueled a 0-6 run for a 74-71 score with 6 minutes left. LeDay dunked to tie the game, 76-76, before Kalinic dunked and Micov matched that with a layup. Van Rossom made free throws and buried a triple that gave Valencia fresh air, 83-79, with a minute to go. Hines scored down low but Van Rossom and Prepelic sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Sam Van Rossom controlled the game tempo and was always there when his team needed a go-to guy. He finished with 21 points on 4-of-7 three-point shots, adding 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 19.
Shavon Shields brought Milan as close as 80-79 entering the final minute. But Van Rossom took matters into his own hands with a big three-pointer, soon added a free throw and Prepelic hit two more to seal the outcome. Valencia brought out its best defensive version when it mattered most.
Valencia shot better from downtown and took better care of the ball. Valencia hit 11-of-27 three-pointers (40.7%) and Milan just buried 6-of-20 (30%). The hosts finished the game with 19 assists and just 8 turnovers, while Milan only had 14 assists and picked up 13 turnovers.
Did you know?
It is Valencia's first-ever home win against Milan. The Italian powerhouse had beaten Valencia three times at La Fonteta: on November 11, 2010, 69-80, on November 15, 2017, 98-103 in double overtime, and on March 5, 2020, 81-83 in overtime on a game-winning three-pointer by Vladimir Micov at the buzzer.
Valencia visits FC Bayern Munich on Friday, November 13 at 20:30 CET. Earlier on that day, Milan visits Khimki Moscow Region.
Friday, November 6, 2020