Olimpia Milano is making its home debut in Euroleague against Zalgiris Kaunas, who won the European title in 1999 in Munich (beating Virtus Bologna in the final), who won the Saporta Cup in 1998 in Belgrade (surpassing Olimpia in the last game). It’s the game number 8 between those two teams, 4-3 in Zalgiris favor so far. The Lithuanian won the last three games including two last season. Sarunas Jasikevicius is the team star. He won the Euroleague four times with three different teams (Barcelona, Maccabi twice and Panathinaikos). Kristosf Lavrinovic will not be with the team because of an injury. Olimpia is going to play without Kristjan Kangur and Angelo Gigli. David Chiotti is available.
This is what coach Luca Banchi had to say: “The Kaunas game is in fact a do-or-die game. If Istanbul and Madrid are the best group teams, behind those powerhouses we have four teams probably condemned to fight through the end to make it to the Top 16. It’s only the second game but we expect some signs that whatever of good we did against Varese in the Italian League can be replicated. Kaunas is a very experienced team, with players who won the Euroleague and will come to Milan to establish their personality. We hope to have the same support we enjoy against Varese. I’d like for everybody to understand how important this game is to us and our future in order to get a win necessary before the two more road games we have ahead”.
David Moss is continuing to undergo treatment for the shoulder injury suffered during the Brindisi game. “The Zalgiris game will be tough because they’re very experienced and we are still looking for the right chemistry. The Varese game in the Italian League showed us what we need to do in order to win, and that is defense and sahring the ball. We’ll have to do that against Kaunas too”.
Nicolò Melli set his personal high in Euroleague in rebounding. “The court is going to say what kind of game we’ll play against Zalgiris but if we need to be hungrier than them we need to play with more desire. And we’ll be fine even against a Zalgiris team used to play this kind of competition every season”.