Fourth quarter heroics deliver Zalgiris victory in Milan 11
Zalgiris Kaunas delivered a powerful fourth quarter to improve to 6-9 with a 70:78 victory at Mediolanum Forum over EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, which slipped to 4-11 with its eighth consecutive loss.
Zalgiris led the entire first half before Ricky Hickman and Rakim Sanders inspired a 13:0 run for Milan and the game was tied at 56:56 after three quarters. But Arturas Milaknis started the fourth quarter with a pair of triples and Zalgiris surged clear to protect its lead for good.
In total Milaknis nailed 4 three-pointers to lead his team with 16 points. Edgaras Ulanovas added 11 and veteran Paulius Jankunas came close to a double-double with 11 rebounds and 9 points, while Kevin Pangos dished 7 assists.
Playing against his former team, Mantas Kalnietis led Milan with 16 points, while Hickman and Sanders netted 15 apiece – most of them in the third quarter.
Zalgiris moved into an early lead as Pangos and Ulanovas connected on three-point shots, and a big slam from Augusto Lima made it 4:12 to underline the visiting team’s solid start. Milan responded with young Simone Fontecchio’s jumper and a triple from Kalnietis narrowing the gap.
Zalgiris moved ahead 18:26 early in the second as Brock Motum struck from long-range, but again Milan came back and Sanders helped make it 33:36 at half-time.
The second half started with a pair of triples from Milaknis to extend Zalgiris’s lead, but after a lengthy technical delay, Sanders scored 8 quick points in a 13:0 run to give Milan its first lead. Zalgiris gradually regained its composure and the third quarter finished with the game tied at 56:56, despite three triples in the quarter from Hickman.
Milaknis started the fourth quarter with another pair of three-pointers to restore Zalgiris’s lead, which advanced to double figures after another long-range strike from Pangos. With Sanders out of the game injured, this time there was no way back for the host as Zalgiris managed the clock well to restrict the home team’s possessions, closing out a hard-earned road win.