Olimpia’s preseason ends with a 76-63 defeat, in Paris, against ASVEL Villeurbanne in an afternoon bewitched in terms of shooting accuracy (33.8% from the field) and affected by turnovers (18). Olimpia played in flashes, but did not have continuity. When he gave the feeling, in different moments, of being able to take possession of the game, he then lost his rhythm and clarity, he also threw eight free throws just giving 24 to the opponents, obviously very athletic. ASVEL played a better game, more continuous especially with the guards (33 points of the Jones-Ekobo duo) deservedly winning 76-63. Olimpia used 12 players out of the 14 available and is now preparing for the Super Cup.
THE FIRST HALF – ASVEL starts better, Olimpia suffers above all defensively against the athleticism of the two winger Okobo and Lighty, in attack there are four turnovers for fouls called on moving blocks. At 14-4 Villeurbanne, a 5-0 counterbreak comes with a triple from Melli and a strong rebound basket from Hines, who takes a foul but does not complete the potential three-point game. The percentages do not assist Milan, but the defense rises in tone, rebounding despite the presence of Fall, Olimpia holds. Troy Daniels, who has to take measures to the European referee meter, suffered problems of fouls as the day before. Melli closed the period strong by scoring in rebound and then from the average on the siren to mend the tear to a point, 19-18, at the end of the first. Early in the second, with Olimpia struggling with fouls with Daniels, Tarczewski and Mitoglou, Devon Hall responds to Antoine Diot’s second triple. Then Mitoglou, using his game in the low post, packs five consecutive points that are worth the overtaking at 26-24. But the best moment leads to another empty pass, especially in attack, with an excessive number of turnovers, few free throws obtained and low percentages. Villeurbanne took advantage of it led by Elie Okobo and Antoine Diot to go back and stretch up to 40-30 of the interval with a 14-1 run.
THE SECOND HALF – Olimpia starts aggressively in the defensive half, also tries to raise the pace despite having at least three players with foul play. Villeurbanne touches +12, then Shields scores twice in a row from three points, Kyle Hines converts to rebound and the 8-0 run as well as forcing Coach Parker’s timeout brings Milan back to minus four. But the team can’t find an acceptable pace or percentages. ASVEL converts two consecutive three games with Chris Jones and flees at 54-38. Malcolm Delaney with two consecutive triples immediately stitched up to minus 10. With a small and more aggressive quintet the deficit dropped back to nine points with ASVEL attempting to repeatedly use Fall’s bounty in the middle of the area. At the end of the third, the ASVEL lead is nine points after Sergio Rodriguez’s goal on the siren, 62-53. At the beginning of the fourth, Rodriguez puts Troy Daniels in rhythm, who with two consecutive triples shortens to minus three. Here the game goes down in brilliance, between fatigue, fouls and turnovers on both sides, many of which are free. ASVEL maintains the advantage, Olimpia’s shooting percentages remain insufficient and the comeback cannot be completed. It ends 76-63.
ASVEL Villeurbanne-Olimpia Milano 76-63 (19-18; 40-30; 62-53)
ASVEL Villeurbanne: Okobo 18, Wembanyama 9, Morgan 2, Jones 15, Kahudi, Diot 11, Fall 6, Lighty 6, Howard 2, Strazel 5, Antetokounmpo 2.
Olimpia Milano: Melli 7 (2/3, 1/2), Grant (0/1), Rodriguez 8 (1/1, 2/6, 3 a), Tarczewski (0/1), Ricci (0/2), Hall 7 (2/2, 1/10), Delaney 11 (0/3, 3/4), Mitoglou 9 (3/5, 0/1, 7 r), Daniels 6 (0/4, 2/6), Shields 8 (1/3, 2/7, 5 r), Alviti (0/1), Hines 7 (3/5, 11 r).
SUPERCUP FROM SATURDAY – Olimpia will play the quarter-finals of the Super Cup in Bologna next Saturday, against Nutribullet Treviso. The eventual semifinal is scheduled for Monday 21st and the eventual final on Tuesday 22nd.