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Olimpia came up strong in the end and pushed back Zalgiris, winning 98-92


Olimpia pushed back Zalgiris and won 98-92. Milan used a terrific 31-point second quarter to build a lead that was extended to 20 points in the middle of the third period, that lost control of the game, paid for its nervousness and gave back all the twenty points. Zalgiris tied the game up at 77, but in the last five minutes Olimpia’s veterans took over. Sergio Rodriguez made a huge three, Kyle Hines anchored the defense, grabbed a crucial offensive rebound that was converted in two free throws and Malcolm Delaney was his dominant self as a closer. Before that, Olimpia’s young blood was essential. Zach LeDay hit the ground running, scored 16 points in the first half and finished with 20. Kevin Punter played 30 minutes, scored 22 very efficient points, and was instrumental throughout the game. Shavon Shields added 17 points. “I feel that we played very well in the second quarter – Coach Ettore Messina said of his team fourth win – and also half of the third, we were very free offensively and extremely efficient defensively. Then a couple of unnecessary fouls, a couple of missed shots, a couple of missed switches let them comeback and our nervousness played in their favor. I feel the last four of five minutes, Kyle Hines was crucial, he really anchored the defense, grabbed a great offensive rebound. Malcolm Delaney finished the game well, he and Kevin Punter are gradually returning to their level after the injuries and that’s good for us.” Punter needed just nive shots to score 22 points, Olimpia had five players scoring in double figure including Delaney. The game was important because allowed Kyle Hines to go over 2,500 points scored in his EuroLeague career.