Olimpia Milano, Ettore Messina does not fear Zeljko Obradovic

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The words of Ettore Messina

The second EuroLeague game of the week brings Olimpia back to the Mediolanum Forum where it has won the last four games and built its current streak of five consecutive victories. But the opponent, although defeated in Belgrade in the first game, proposes a very high level of difficulty, because Partizan has won six of the last seven games and has turned its standings upside down not only breaking into the playoff zone but even attacking one of the top four positions in the standings. The most recent victory came last Tuesday in Bologna just as Olimpia captured its fifth win in a row in Valencia. What was seen in Spain was an unprecedented Olimpia that had 41 points from the two point guards also used together especially in the second half, five men in double figures and many different set-ups. In addition, Shavon Shields also returned after four full months with restricted minutes, but still able to help out in the little things. Everyone’s contribution will be needed in a game that has suddenly become a challenge of great interest given the momentum of the two teams and the ranking ambitions of Partizan. Then there are also many other reasons of attraction such as the presence in the Belgrade team of Kevin Punter and Zach LeDay or on the two benches of the two coaches who have won in EuroLeague more titles and more games as well as coached more competitions, Zeljko Obradovic and Ettore Messina. In Olimpia, Devon Hall, Gigi Datome and Paul Biligha are still unavailable. Still present with limited minutes is Shavon Shields.

“Partizan is probably the fittest team in the whole EuroLeague, as its ranking shows, and its morale is very high after the Bologna victory,” Ettore Messina stressed on the eve of the game. “Obviously it’s a well coached team, with clear rules, athletic players and a lot of shooters in all roles starting with Kevin Punter and Zach LeDay himself. A top-notch defensive game will be crucial and it will be equally important to control our backboard against the best offensive rebounder in the competition who is Matthias Lessort. We are growing and want to continue to do so even compared to the good performance in Valencia, but to try to beat Partizan we will have to do even better.”

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