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Gentile is back: EA7 is ready


89-64 against Lugano. 40 minutes of extra work to get ready for the season debut against Juve Caserta next Sunday. Mvp of the game was Nicolò Melli, energy, three-point shooting, rebounds.

A stuttering start, four consecutive turnovers, has been soon canceled, so EA7 could control the last preseason game, in Castellanza  (Memorial Tarcisio Vaghi) against Lugano, a team coming from a three-peat in Switzerland. The game has been close for the first quarter only, then Olimpia’s offense got into the rhytm, with Richard Hendrix making his first four shots, two of them jump hooks and two “assisted” by Alessandro Gentile, the surprising novelty of the night.

After a left shoulder surgery supposed to require a four-month stop, the team youngest player returned on the court after two days of contact drills and one month earlier than expected. Used obviously with great attention by coach Sergio Scariolo, Ale brought energy to the team: his first possession was an assist for Hendrix, the second a three-point play completed with a left shoulder test incorporated. Then after a miss on a short jumper, he had the second assist for Hendrix, had a turnover (ball stripped by an opponent and barely touched again by him), he finished with a thunderous block.

With Hendrix very active under the boards, Antonios Fotsis looked in promising condition, both shooting and rebounding, Nicolò Melli came out stealing the ball and dunking a second later, then he exhibited the outside shooting confirming his versatility, very active also Malik Hairston and Jacopo Giachetti, Ioannis Bourousis who was terrific in Vitoria in the last Spanish game, was a little more up and down. Omar Cook game was partially affected by two fouls called in the first three minutes. Keith Langford, coming off the bench in both halves, had some occasional explosion but still reached the double figure in scoring easily in spite of a couple of unusual misses.

Coach Scariolo used all his 13 players (including Tsiaras, excellent professional who practiced with the team since day one), he used also different combinations, implementing a two-point men line-up for some streches, Giachetti and Stipcevic.

Now Olimpia is going to prcatice for some days before entering the season with its pockets full: on SUnday the Italian League debut against Caserta, on Wedsneday the road game in Bologna, and on 7th the exhibition game against the Celtics. On 12th it’s Euroleague turn in the Mediolanum Forum, against Anadolu Efes Istanbul

BOXSCORE EA7: Basile 6, Stipcevic 2, Cook 3, Bourousis 6, Chiotti 6, Langford 10, Fotsis 13, Hairston 11, Hendrix 12, Gentile 3, Melli 8, Giachetti 9, Tsiaras.