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Olimpia had to give up in the 4th: 87-67


With no David Moss (along Kangur and Gigli), the bench is thin, there no margin for errors or to be creative in terms of usable line-ups, so Olimpia tried to keep up, absorb a couple of punches against Efes and its big-men, tall and skilled, or its perimeter players very physicals. Three times it responds to the challenge but in the fourth period inevitably had to give up, right up to when the rally looked possible. Efes shot the ball well with Scotty Hopson early in the game, Kostas Vasileiadis in the second, with Jamon Lucas Gordon all night long, even if the game hero was Dusko Savanovic. The game finished with an abnormal margin (87-67) which represents the biggest regret since in Euroleague tha margin counts and in the end Olimpia – which went into the penalty situation very early in the fourth – couldn’t contain Efes fury.

THE FIRST HALF – The beginning was difficult because Efes established its superiority close to the basket with Erden and Savanovic combining for 7 of the first 10 points. When the first time-out is called Olimpia, after 3’40” is down 10-2 and the only basket made is a Samuels’ dunk. The answer is coming from two initiatives by Melli to cap a couple of threes made by Langford and Gentile. Still, Efes keep scoring with a sensational first period by Savanovic. A three by Wallace, replacing Samuels at center, and two foul shots by Gentile are brining Milano within two points, 19-17. But the period is closing on another 6-0 run by Efes with a Gordon score at the buzzer, 25-17. The secondo period starts better, with a three-point play by Haynes and five consecutive points by Langford to tie up at 27 and at 29 after a mid-range jumper by Samuels. And Efes gets away again on a 8-0 run and Scotty Hopson already in double-figure. In spite of two fouls called on Samuels and then even on Langford, some difficulties containing Efes size with Erden, Savanovic and Barac in the end, the game is still there and the first half is closed at a 42-35 Efes advantage.

THE SECOND HALF – Langford makes a big three to start the half but Savanovic continues his show and responds. Gentile tries to bring Olimpia closer but a 6-0 run pushes Olimpia back, 40-51. Another 6-0 run for Olimpia includes a Melli’s block, four consecutive Samuels points and a mid-range jumper by Gentile. They’re not enough because just small mistakes allowed Efes to get away. Savanovic makes a three, Vasileiadis makes two and another easy basket by Savanovic are devastating in the third (66-52 at the end). In the fourth Gentile tries to rally in spite of playing with four fouls, Jerrells makes a couple of baskets but the rally is being stopped at nine down bacause of too many turnobvers and because Gordon and Vasileiadis are still scoring. When Efes gets up by 15 again with 4 minutes left is clear that the game is over. There’s time for the career-high by Gentile with 19 points.