Olimpia Milano improves to 8-0

Olimpia Milano improved to 8-0 in the Italian Serie A with a convincing victory over Cantu on Sunday.

The unbeaten league leaders received strong performances from several players in an 89-71 win.

Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez paced Olimpia Milano with 24 points and six assists.

Trailing 44-43 at halftime, coach Ettore Messina’s club dominated in the third quarter, outscoring the hosts 30-14 to turn the tide.

In addition to Rodriguez’s stellar effort, Kyle Hines contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Zach LeDay provided a double-double (12 points, 12 boards). Shavon Shields finished with 13 points.

Hines, Shields and LeDay each made two steals, while teammate Paul Biligha blocked two shots.

Cantu fell to 2-3. Jamie Smith had a team-high 18 points, with Jaaziel Dante Johnson scoring 12.

Keys to victory for Olimpia Milano

Olimpia Milano was efficient on long-range shooting, making 11 of 22 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

Furthermore, Messina’s team handed out 23 assists.

Like 2019, when the Serie A team was 16-2 in early February, the squad is off to a superb start this season.

Insights from Messina

“We came off a tough week, we didn’t practice and we paid for it, especially our first quarter defense, who allowed everything, dribble penetrations, by Jaime Smith mostly,” Messina commented.

“Once we fixed our defense everything improved, the second half was better, we allowed 14 and 13 points respectively in the third and fourth quarter, and our ball circulation was better. It’s good that we gave some minutes to Kevin Punter and Ricky Moraschini.”

Varese outplays Virtus Rome

Elsewhere Sunday, Luis Scola provided 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Toney Douglas and Antony Morse poured in 18 points apiece in Varese’s 98-88 triumph over Virtus Rome.

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