Round 18 of the 2018-19 regular season in the Italian Serie A closed out with one game on February 4th. League leaders AX Armani Exchange Milano continued to assert their dominance over the domestic Italian League. At 16-2, Armani has a comfortable three-game lead over their closest challenger, Umana Venezia (13-5). Assuming they can keep up this impressive winning pace, Armani projects to cruise into the league playoffs as the top seed.
The club is not faring as well in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. They are on the outside looking into the Top-8 with a 10-11 record. That is a tight race as the current eighth-place team, Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz shares the same record but
Their 16th win, while impressive was not against a formidable foe. They defeated Pistoia Basket, the Serie A’s last-placer (4-14) on the road, 81-91. Mike James led the charge for Armani with 17 points and seven assists. They were in such firm control of the game that red shirts were able to lean on their bench to carry the offense for long stretches. Armani’s bench outscored Pistoia’s 34-11. They also handled their business on the defensive end of the floor. Pistoia would have fared better had they not committed 18 turnovers, compared to the 11 of Armani.
The bulk of Pistoia’s scoring fell on the shoulders of three of their starters. L.J. Peak dropped a game-high 21 points, while Ousman Krubally and Blaz Mesicek chipped in with 19 and 18 points respectively. Krubally had a big night, also adding 14 rebounds and four assists to the box score in the loss.
Here are the complete results from Round 18:
- VL Pesaro 86-89 Umana Reyer Venezia
- MIA Red October Cantu 82-66 Vanoli Cremona
- Germani Brescia 77-85 Alma Trieste
- Virtus Bologna 88-66 Sidigas Avellino
- Dolomiti Energia Trento 74-71 Openjobmetis Varese
- Fiat Torino 77-58 Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia
- Banco di Sardegna Sassari 98-103 Happy Casa Brindisi
- Pistoia Basket 81-91 AX Armani Exchange Milano