2008-09Regular SeasonRound 6
December 03, 2008 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 DATCHFORUM

Armani Jeans handed reigning champ CSKA Moscow its first loss

Armani Jeans Milano stunned CSKA Moscow 80-79 on Wednesday night behind a big night from a pair of backcourt stars. David Hawkins scored 20 points, the last of which came on a go-ahead basket with 9.1 seconds to go, as Milano handed the reigning champs their first loss of the season. It was a thrilling finish to a game that seemed totally in CSKA’s control when it led 14-34 midway through the second period. But Milano regrouped at halftime and started the third quarter on a 14-2 run to get back in the game. The last period featured seven lead changes and six ties before Hawkins earned his team the win. Luca Vitali shined bright in the biggest night of his young career, shooting 5 for 6 from downtown en route to 17 points and Jobey Thomas, who kept Milano going in the early stages, added 10. With the win, Milano improved to 2-4 in Group D and is only one win out of second place. CSKA fell to 5-1 and missed a chance to become the first team to reach the Top 16 despite outplaying Milano statistically. Zoran Planinic led Moscow with 15 points and 6 assists, Ramunas Siskauskas scored 11 and Trajan Langdon 10.

CSKA won the opening tip and worked the ball down low where Aleksey Savrasenko scored the game’s first basket. Thomas fought through the CSKA defense to get Milano’s first basket. The visitors played patiently on offense as they worked to get good shots en route to a 2-10 lead. Thomas hit back with a triple for Milano, however CSKA continued to dominate at both ends as a Planinic triple gave the champs a double-digit advantage. Milano head coach Piero Bucchi called timeout to talk things over, but it was to no avail. A short Planinic jumper followed by a Terrence Morris slam in transition pushed the lead to 5-21. Vitali hit a long three at the buzzer to make it 8-21 after 10 minutes.

Vitali hit a second, more organized triple to start the second period, but Marco Mordente stopped Siskauskas in the open court and was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul. After Siskauskas made his free throws and Viktor Khryapa drained a three on the resulting possession, CSKA was back in control. Savrasenko scored in the paint to make it 11-30 before Vitali fired in another three-pointer. Khryapa added a baseline jumper to push the lead to 20 only for Vitali to connect on his fourth three at the other end. Hawkins drove for a basket to become just the third Milano player to score. Pape Sow scored his first basket in over a month after an injury as Milano tried to claw its way back. A jumper and a triple by Mordente made it 24-37, but Matjaz Smodis added 4 points from the line to keep CSKA in control, 26-43, at halftime.

Armani Jeans came out for the second half looking far more energized at both ends of the floor. And even though the hosts still needed to work hard for points, the duo of Thomas and Mike Hall got the job done. A Hawkins jumper capped an 11-2 run that made it 37-45 and caused CSKA head coach Ettore Messina to call timeout. Hawkins continued the Milano momentum with a basket-plus-foul in transition to cut the deficit to 5. CSKA finally regained its confidence, causing turnovers on one end and upping its lead to 9 on a Morris two-handed slam at the other. But just as quickly, a Masimo Bulleri jumper was followed by a Yohann Sangare steal and a Mason Rocca basket-plus-foul to make it 45-49 with two minutes left in the period. And after forcing CSKA into a 24 seconds violation, Hawkins cut the gap to 2. Nikos Zisis came away with a layup after a broken play that made it 49-53 heading into the fourth period.

Hawkins plowed through the CSKA defense for a three-point play that brought Milano within 1 at the start of the deciding period. Planinic and Langdon kept CSKA ahead from the line, but Rocca kept it close with a basket on the offensive glass. Hall went over Lorbek for a basket-plus-foul that tied the score and put Milano ahead for the first time all night, 59-58. Siskauskas drilled a three to put CSKA back on top and after Bulleri drove for a layup, Siskauskas buried another triple. Bulleri answered with a bucket to keep Milano within 1. Sow fouled out and Lorbek scored underneath to increase CSKA's advantage, but Vitali’s fifth three-pointer tied the game again. Milano regained the lead on a Hawkins basket-plus-foul with under three minutes to play. And Hawkins then drove to make it 73-70. Langdon buried a three from the corner to tie it once more, but Vitali – with his first shot not from downtown all night – hit 2 free throws to put Milano back on top. Khryapa tied it from the line with 1:20 to play, sending Vitali to the bench with 5 fouls along the way. Milano then turned the ball over and Hall picked up his fifth foul as Langdon put the visitors ahead 75-77 with 2 free throws and just under a minute remaining. Rocca kept a Milano possession alive with a key offensive rebound that led to a Hawkins three-point play and a 1-point Milano lead. Khryapa answered with a bucket in the paint, but Hawkins made a running jumper off the glass to make it 80-79 with 9.1 seconds to play. CSKA took a timeout and designed a play for Siskauskas, but he tripped, lost the ball and Thomas went to the lien with 1.9 seconds to play. After Thomas missed the first, he purposely missed the second and by the time CSKA grabbed the rebound, there was no time left as Milano celebrated a major win over the champs.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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Attendance: 3433
By Quarter1234
AJ Milano8182331
CSKA Moscow21221026
End of Quarter1234
AJ Milano8264980
CSKA Moscow21435379
AJ Milano
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BULLERI, MASSIMO 18:40 8 3/6 0/2 2/2   1 1 2 2     1 1 2 8
6 FILLOY, ARIEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 HALL, MIKE 30:33 7 2/4 0/2 3/3   2 2   2 1     5 2 3
8 SOW, PAPE 18:39 4 2/3       3 3   2 2 1   5 3 5
9 MORDENTE, MARCO 18:45 5 1/2 1/3         2   1     4   -1
10 VITALI, LUCA 22:52 17   5/6 2/2       1 1 3     5 1 11
11 THOMAS, JOBEY 17:48 10 1/5 2/3 2/4         2 1   1 1 3 5
12 ROCCA, MASON 21:21 9 4/6   1/1 3   3 1       1 4 3 9
15 KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS 8:30           2 2           1   1
16 MICEVIC, MARKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 SANGARE, YOHANN 9:56   0/1       1 1   1       1 1 1
34 HAWKINS, DAVID 32:56 20 8/12 0/1 4/4   2 2 4 1 2 1   2 5 24
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 80 21/39 8/17 14/16 4 12 16 10 11 10 2 3 29 20 68
        53.8% 47.1% 87.5%
Head coach: BUCCHI, PIERO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 22:18 2 1/4     1   1 4   2   1 1 1 1
7 KEYRU, VICTOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 22:23 8 0/3 0/1 8/8 1 3 4 2   1     1 7 15
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 32:05 11 1/2 2/4 3/4   1 1     4   1 3 4 4
12 LORBEK, ERAZEM 21:58 9 3/4   3/6 2 4 6     2 2   4 5 12
14 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 14:13 9 3/3   3/5   3 3           3 3 10
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 34:35 10 1/2 1/3 5/6   5 5 1   1     1 3 13
24 KAUN, SASHA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 13:39 9 2/2 1/1 2/2   2 2 1 1 1 1   2 1 12
34 PLANINIC, ZORAN 26:12 15 4/5 1/2 4/6 1 1 2 6 1 1     4 4 19
44 MORRIS, TERENCE 12:37 6 3/3       2 2     1     1 1 7
Team           1 1 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 79 18/28 5/11 28/37 6 22 28 14 2 14 3 2 20 29 94
        64.3% 45.5% 75.7%

Head Coaches

AJ Milano
"We are satisfied about this game. The team played with great intensity during all the game, and it was very important to find the feeling with the victory. I want to thank our fans for their support tonight. Thanks to Marco Mordente for his personality during the game and the timeouts. We played the first half like we do in the Italian League, and in the second we moved the ball and we played with an incredible energy in the last 10 seconds of every possession. We know that many people didn't expect this victory, but we believed in this game. The team was mentally ready to play this game, and that was the most important thing to me."
CSKA Moscow
"We played with a lot of arrogance and we had a poor defense in the last quarter, while Milano played with great spirit. What happened in the second half? Maybe some of my players thought that the game was over. It was a very good Euroleague game, even if it was difficult. We played a great first half in front of a very knowledgeable crowd. I don't want to take away any credit from Milan."


AJ Milano
"We played a great game tonight, but we just have to think about the next one now. We won against the best team in Europe, we played with a lot of pride, and I don't know if it was the best [second] half of the season; it might be presumptuous to think that. Now, we have to continue to work in this way. We don't have to think that we did our best effort tonight."
AJ Milano
"We saw the great spirit of this team, every player giving everything he has for its teammates, and we had a great energy. I think we are still in preseason, because of all the injuries we had in these first months, but we showed tonight what we can do when we make our best effort together. I'm so happy for my teammates, especially for those guys who were criticized every time in the press, and I never accepted this. We did all the right things in the second half, we started with an impressive effort in defense and we moved the ball very well. I am working to involve my teammates in the best way, as a point guard. We are working day by day to improve our team play and we are on the right path."
AJ Milano
"We played soft in the first half, as if we didn't want to win the game. Coach didn't have to say anything at halftime, we know we have to come out and play hard, and this is what we did. I wasn't really open in the first half, their defense was very tight. My teammates hit some shots in the second half and they spread out. I tried to use my ability to get my teammates involved and they opened it up for me. We had to win this game and nobody believed we could win it. We fight every day, knew we could beat CSKA and the hard work paid off. We have a lot of work to do, everything is posible and we have to believe."
CSKA Moscow
"We played very well in the first half, but they did a very good job in the second, when they were very aggressive attacking the basket. We slowed down our tempo in the second half and we lost, but it's time to think to the next game and go on."
CSKA Moscow
"It's hard to say what happened in the second half. They just played very well to come back in the game. They continued to play hard while we thought that the game was over. They were very aggressive and they were able to come back soon in the third quarter and they put a lot of pressure on us. We tried to work a lot in the low post to find easy baskets and free throws, but they played a very hard defense in the second half, and they took advantage of that."
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