Gentile’s career-night rallies EA7 Milan past Laboral
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan rallied from 15-points down, and led by a career-night from Alessandro Gentile kept its playoff chances alive with a 99-85 victory over Laboral Kutxa Vitoria on Thursday night. The victory improved Milan’s record to 4-8 in Group F, while Laboral dropped to 5-7. Both teams are among four fighting for one remaining playoff berth from Group F. Despite the loss, Laboral managed to hold on to a superior point-differential in head-to-head games, having won their first contest by 19 points. Mike James led Laboral early on and the visitors opened a 26-41 second quarter lead, but the hosts used an 11-0 run to close to within 39-43 at halftime and then dominated in the third quarter. Gentile scored 13 points during that period as Milan put together a 25-6 charge, pulling away to a double-digit margin and never looking back. Gentile netted career-high 29 points on 4-for-5 three-point shooting plsu 7 rebounds. Samardo Samuels finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds in victory, MarShon Brooks scored 13 and Daniel Hackett 12 in victory as Milan nailed 14 triples on 30 attempts. Darius Adams scored 18 for Laboral, Fabien Causeur had 17, and Tornike Shengelia 14 points for the visitors. Fernando San Emeterio and Mike James scored 11 apiece in defeat.
First quarter: Laboral makes charge to go in front
A pair of free throws from Shengelia were the game's first points, before Causuer drove for a layup. What followed was a series of jumpers. Hackett hit one to open Milan's tally, before Shengelia made a move inside to make it 2-6. Gentile countered with a short jumper for the hosts, and Samuels tied the score with a long jump shot. Laboral answered with a pair of jumpers of its own, as San Emeterio and Adams made it 6-10. But David Moss nailed a corner triple for Milan, and after a timeout, Gentile scored a pair of baskets for a 13-10 edge. Adams hit a three-pointer to end a 7-0 run, but Linas Kleiza answered right back from long range. Causeur made a floater and a fastbreak basket for a 16-17 advantage before Gentile drove for another layup. A jumper from Adams followed by free throws San Emeterio and James gave Laboral a 5-point margin, before Samuels and James traded baskets in the final 30 seconds and the quarter ended with 20-25 Laboral lead.
Second quarter: Milan rallies back from 15 down
Begic scored from close range to open the quarter, and James drove for a three-point play that made it 20-30. Brooks matched it on the other end, and after James drove for another layup, Joe Ragland sank a triple to get within 26-32. However, San Emeterio scored a pair of second-chance baskets to open a double digit margin, 26-37, forcing a Milan timeout after which Causeur raced for a fastbreak dunk and Begic scored inside, 26-41. Kleiza hit a three-pointer to snap a 0-9 run and start Milan’s charge. Hackett and Brooks made fadeaway shots as Milan cut it to 35-41, forcing a Laboral timeout. Gentile’s jumper cut the deficit to 4 points. Causeur’s layup snapped an 11-0 run, before Gentile scored free throws to make it 39-43 at halftime.
Third quarter: Gentile on fire as Milan pulls away
Layups from Hackett and Gentile tied it at 43-43. After San Emeterio and Brooks traded baskets, San Emeterio fed Adams with a no-look pass for a layup and a 45-47 edge. But Samuels scored inside, and Brooks drove for a layup then sank a triple to put Milan in front 52-49. After free throws from Shengelia, Milan extended the lead with Hackett driving through a crowd for a three-point play. A dunk from Samuels made it 57-57, and after Shengelia scored for the visitors, Gentile drove for a layup then knocked down a wide-open three-pointer. After free throws from Samuels and Moss, a corner three from Gentile extended the difference to 68-53. Begic split free throws to end a 16-2 run, but Gentile hit his third consecutive triple, followed by a three-pointer from Moss to lead 74-55. Adams hit a three-pointer from the left corner to end the visitor’s drought and then drove for a layup that made it 74-60.
Fourth quarter: Laboral hold margin under 19 points
Colton Iverson opened the quarter with a dunk, but Samuels answered from close range. Kim Tillie had a put-back for Laboral, before Ragland and San Emeterio traded threes that made it 79-67. Kleiza and Tillie each made a second-chance baskets, before Gentile got a lucky bounce on a triple and Causeur matched him from downtown. But Samuels made couple free throws and sank a triple in transition for the biggest lead of the night, 89-72. After a timeout, Adams and Ragland traded shots from long range, before Shengelia scored twice from close range to get within 92-80 with three minutes to go. There was still a lot of battle left for a tie-break advantage. Melli had a pair of dunks, and after a basket from James, a triple from Hackett opened a 99-82 lead. Begic only split free throws, however Samuels missed inside, and Causeur raced for a fastbreak layup in the final seconds to make it a 14-point margin at the end.
Thursday, March 26, 2015