Eighth day of the EuroLeague Basketball regular season for Olimpia Milano, which is in Lithuania as host of Zalgiris Kaunas which precedes it in the standings. Ettore Messina’s EA7 wants to end a negative streak of three defeats but arrives for the duo at 19:00 with four excellent absences: Shields, Datome, Baron and Tonut.

The comment: bad match and bad performance for Olimpia Milano. We feared big problems in the points by the wingers on the eve, yet the only ones in double figures are Mitrou-Long and Pangos! Today EA7 is a team that doesn’t score in full defense, doesn’t score in the low post, doesn’t score three-pointers and stays in the game only because they defend extraordinarily well against one of the least prolific teams in the entire EuroLeague. Without forgetting that Keenan Evans had a big game, unstoppable more and more going forward in the match. “It’s all wrong” said Bartali. Maybe not? Of course clinging to absences after this performance is a clear fig leaf: the long package did not put together 20 points scored.

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4th quarter – 1/2 of Lekavicius in lunette. Alviti responds with a triple, and Mitrou-Long makes a second. Evans loses ball no. 13 for Zalgiris, but Mitrou-Long’s layup is weak for the possible -3. Triple by Evans, response from two by Alviti 53-47 with 7’26”. Another loss by Evans, Voigtmann shortens -4 from an attacking rebound. Double timeouts for Maksvytis and Messina with 6’50”. Fourth foul by Mitrou-Long. Brazdeikis extends, Butkevicuis scores a rare counterattack and gets back on +8 with 4’47” 57-49 and Messina timeout. EA7 never finds the basket in the lined-up Lithuanian defense, so Butkevicius has good play from the corner to put +11 bomb with 3’50”. Messina puts Mitrou-Long back in, author of the last shock in Milan, but his men give their best in defense forcing Kaunas to 24″. They lean on Melli two-three times, but they are turnovers, then the long commits his fourth foul Evans makes two free throws 62-49 with 2’43”. Mitrou-Long gets three free throws from Hayes and goes back to -10. Only with 1’34” Mitrou-Long unleashes a counterattack from 2+1, -7 and feeds his last hopes. Fifth foul by Melli, 1/2 by Ulanovas in the line. Triple, however, for Devon Hall 63-58 with 1’15 “. 5″ violation and turnover for the Lithuanians. Olimpia bungles on a decisive attack, Evans misses the triple, Smits scores from the attacking rebound. Pangos does not triple, Messina, after a fall by Kevarrious Hays, calls timeout with 23”. No Voigtmann from three, free by Ulanovas; basket by Mitrou-Long, free throws by Butkevicius. Mitrou-Long again, free of Evans. It ends 71-62.

Zalgiris Kaunas – Olimpia Milano 71-62. Boxscore: 23 Evans, 10p+10r Smits for Zalgiris (5-3); 19 Mitrou-Long, 11 Pangos for Olimpia.

3rd quarter – After 21″ Melli asks for a coach challenge, and the throw-in goes back to Milan’s hands. But no points arrive. Melli then steals the ball, and Hall gets two free throws +8 Zalgiris. Melli leads the transition, and Thomas shortens. Smits stops the Italian break, Evans restores +10 with 7’38”, then exploits a transition for +13 with 6’55” and Messina timeout. Pangos scores on Hall’s counterattack, Alviti and Melli are unsuccessful 41-30 in the 25th minute Si egna with the dropper: Lekavicius, then with 2’24” the triple from Hall after 0/7. Birutis extends, but Mitrou-Long makes the triple. Birutis repeats itself, but also Mitrou-Long 47-39 with one full minute to play. An attacking foul by Voigtmann made the ex Brescia’s penetration in vain. But Evans keeps the +10, 49-39 in the 30th minute.

2nd quarter – With 9’04” Lekavicius earns a three-point play with Mitrou-Long’s third foul. Voigtmann finds the ball in his hand to crush on the counterattack 19-13. Olimpia misses everything and more when shooting, it’s good that Zalgiris have the same shooting problems. Baldasso and Alviti in, Davies shortens with 6’01”. Evans puts the triple of +7, Melli in line 1/2, first free throws for Milan. 22-16 to 15′. Timeout, lost by Hall on his return, but Alviti makes Smits miss and recovers the ball. Melli’s tapin arrives on Pangos’ shot, but Evans keeps the +6. With 3’39” an unsportsmanlike foul called on Alviti (Barzdeikis caught by the arm). The Lithuanian winger makes two free throws, Cavanaugh triples from the corner 29-18 Messina calls the timeout with 3’24”. Stolen and counter-attack by Pangos, who then shoots yet another missed triple. Luckily Zalgiris never takes advantage of attacking rebounds, but Pangos goes to the line for a 1/2. Evans dribbles 20″ and scores from three with Pangos’ hand in his face, but the Canadian responds with a triple with 34″ still on the clock. Zalgiris timed out. In 11″ on the siren Smits makes the basket from the fifth offensive rebound 34-24.

1st quarter – With 8’08” the first basket was Brazdeikis’ triple. Smits scored twice, in action and in the line 7-0 closed by Thomas in foray with 6’29”. 0/6 from three in 5′ for Milan, who however defends well: Melli’s block on Hayes and timeout. Hines closes from below with 3’52”, Ulanovas responds immediately 9-4. Melli’s second foul is worth 1/2 of Evans in the line. Olimpia wakes up with the 0-5 signed by Thomas-Pangos (from three) 10 – 9. Cavanaugh and Voigtmann hold up in the 9th minute, Birutis makes his way into the area with four free throws in two plays, and in the 10th minute we’re 16-11 (1/8 from three for EA7).

Pre-season warm-up at the Zalgirio Arena, documented via Twitter.

At lunchtime the team went through their usual shootaround, as documented via Twitter.

LIVE EL – In Kaunas Mitrou-Long does not stop Olimpia Milano’s 4th defeat