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Olimpia’s defense got the job done in the fourth quarter: 78-65 over Trento


Olimpia held Trento to 11 fourth-quarter points and closed the game with a nice 78-65 win, its 30th straight at home in the Italian league. The game had a weird story, since Olimpia hit the ground running, started 19-3 and was up by 18 early in the second quarter (33-15). “The first 12 minutes were really good,” Coach Ettore Messina said. Olimpia was 12-for-17 from the field in the first quarter, was hitting on all cylinders, and its defense generated fastbreak opportunities. “Then, we lost ourselves a little bit – Messina added – we had some turnovers, we got nervous. Fortunately, our defense was there when we needed it, with Paul Biligha anchoring it. In the fourth quarter, Naz Mitrou-Long minutes were huge.” Mitrou-Long scored all of his 10 points in the fourth quarter. Then at the end, two defensive-offensive plays were determining. First, Devon Hall had a steal at one end of the floor and a three at the other; then Stefano Tonut intercepted a pass and went on to score on a lay-up. It was the end of the game. “I subbed Tonut with twenty seconds left in the game. You cannot reward a player much more than doing this – Coach Messina said – He played with energy, he scored points, he made steals. That was a classic Tonut’s game. I’m very happy about it.” He scored 10 points in the first quarter, setting the tone along Tim Luwawu-Cabarrot. He finished with 14 points and four steals. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 14 points himself and added seven rebounds; Billy Baron had 12 points off the bench and Brandon Davies 11 plus eight rebounds against the best rebounding the team in the league. “Trento is well organized, they play hard, they challenge everybody overplaying the passing lanes, it is not easy to play against them, so I’m glad the way we played,” Messina closed.