EuroligaFinished That's how it was
TD Systems Baskonia8669Milan
Marker by quarters10 – 1623 – 1627 – 1326 – 24Fernando Buesa Arena
Sometimes the numbers don't say everything. At the Buesa Arena in Vitoria, the award for best player of the match went to Achille Polonara, who finished with a PIR of 28 –17 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists–. Close to him, Henry and Giedraitis completed 40 brilliant minutes, which they gave for their team, Baskonia , to beat Armani Milan and continue with chances of getting into the top eight, tied as they are now at 17 victories with Zenit and El Valencia.
But the statistics do not include intangibles, sweat and sacrifice in aspects that do not count at the end, and there, in that position is Tadas Sedekerskis, who completed discreet figures (9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) , but whose defensive work was priceless. He intimidated, covered spaces, stole and helped his teammates in the blockades. It helped the gunboats in Milan to stay low. His work does not appear on the official match sheets, but if Baskonia won at Buesa, it is largely due to his Stakhanovist work. Dusko Ivanovic saw it right away, giving him more minutes than ever. It was, behind Polonara and Giedraitis, who played the most. And the Baskonia coach does not give anything away. Nobody.
Sedekerskis finished a choral work, because the defense was by far the best of Baskonia, which got stuck in attack in the first minutes, although it did not allow the Italians to display their best attacking finery. Baskonia came into the break with a minimal advantage (33-32), a poor score that is well explained by looking at the statistics
El Chacho, no
relief Ivanovic's men missed thirteen of the fourteen triple shots they tried, although they were good under the hoops and better on the rebound. They took 24, seven more than Milan. Those of Messina obtained very poor percentages in the shots of two although they remained on their feet thanks to the shots of three, because they felt uncomfortable near the basket, with a strict defense of Baskonia that gripped the Milanese. Sergio Rodríguez kept the flame of his team with a pair of triples, but when he lost steam, nobody took over.
At the beginning of the second quarter, the visiting team took more than four minutes to score. That was the trend of the game. Men like the easy-wrist Shavon Shields were almost dry. The American scored his first basket midway through the third quarter. Milan scored 16 points in each of the first two quarters and only 13 in the third, in which Baskonia took off, reaching a 20-point difference in the final stretch
Only in the garbage minutes the Vitorians relaxed in defense, although not too much. They kept their rival at bay and added a victory – the eighth in the last nine games – which is pure gold and keeps them in the fight, within a middle class of the Euroleague in which there is no glimpse of who can qualify for the quarterfinals final when there are three days left until the end of the regular competition
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