Milan survives Belinelli outburst in overtime thriller

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Marco Belinelli dropped a career-high 34 points, but AX Armani Exchange Milan defeated Virtus Segafredo Bologna, 102-99, in overtime.

Coming off a COVID-19 outbreak and playing for the first time since December 19, Milan looked well in control with its lead peaking at 15 points early in the fourth quarter of the rescheduled LBA Serie A Regular Season Round 13 contest. Well-experienced Belinelli capping off a tremendous comeback by connecting one of his six triples late in regulation forced the extra period.

Devon Hall registered five out of his 18 points in overtime, while Jerian Grant logged a season-high 20 points and dished out six assists. Sergio Rodriguez ended up with 16 points, nine assists, and four rebounds.

Belinelli, 35, with 11/16 field goals did not make the cut for the team guided by Sergio Scariolo. Milos Teodosic had 18 points but fouled out late in the fourth quarter. Mouhammadou Jaiteh finished with 18 points as well. Wednesday’s encounter marked the first game since December 22.

The Italian league leaders jumped to 12-1 pushing down to 10-3 the team following in second place.

Several players out

Milan’s Malcolm Delaney was a late scratch due to a sore left knee. Shavon Shields (right hand), Luigi Datome (right thigh), Konstantinos Mitoglou (left foot), and Riccardo Moraschini (suspended) remained out. Also sidelined, Giampaolo Ricci, Troy Daniels, and Tommaso Baldasso along with newcomer Trey Kell.

No shortage of players missing for the team based in Bologna. Nico Mannion, Ekpe Udoh, Awudu Abass, Isaia Cordinier, Kevin Hervey, and Amedeo Tessitori were all unavailable.

Quick turnarounds for Milan

The team coached by Ettore Messina will be back in action in a couple of days facing Zenit St Petersburg at home in the lone remaining game of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 19. The other eight fixtures have been suspended due to positive COVID-19 cases limiting multiple teams under the minimum eight players necessary to play.

Carrying a 10-6 record, Milan sits sixth in the EuroLeague table, while Zenit at 12-6 is fourth before the meeting at Mediolanum Forum.

Two days after taking on Zenit, another home fixture follows with Bertram Tortona visiting Sunday. The schedule of approaching Round 15 includes Virtus Bologna staying on the road to collide with UNAHOTELS Reggio Emilia.

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