Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv fought back from 13-points down to outlast EA7 Milano 101-99 in overtime at the Mediolanum Forum and take a 1-0 series lead in the Euroleague quarter-finals.
Milano wasted a double digit lead in this game, as they led 82-70 with two minutes left. Maccabi then exploded into life with a 17-4 run, which left Keith Langford to spare Milano’s blushes and send the game to overtime with a second left.
Then in a nip-and-tuck extra period, with Maccabi leading by three, Milano’s Langford hit his first free throw with 2.1 seconds remaining and purposely missed the second, which left Gani Lawal the opportunity to win them the game. Unfortunately for the Italian crowd, he was unable to get a shot off and Maccabi celebrated.
“[It was] a super game, fantastic comeback,” Maccabi coach David Blatt said. “Milan showed for most of the game to be very strong, but when the time came to make some plays and make some things happen on defence, we had our chance.
“It was a special game. It’s unusual to come back at this level in this kind of game. The game is over, there are more games to play, so we have to go back to work tomorrow and think about the next game. There is no time to celebrate.”
Ricky Hickman led all scorers for Maccabi with 26 points with Langford leading Milan with 18.
CSKA Moscow needed an extra period to see off Panathinaikos 77-74 in the Russian capital as they defended home court in the CSKA Sports Hall.
Neither team could be separated after regulation, as it finished deadlocked at 72-72. A defensively intense extra period saw CSKA hold Panathinaikos to just two points as Sonny Weems lifted the Muscovites to a 1-0 lead.
Weems led CSKA with 21 points, while Viktor Khryapa hit 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
“As we expected, the game was tough,” Khryapa said. “The Top 16 experience showed that the four teams in each group are positioned not by their strength, because all of the teams are strong. Even if you are in first place and get a competitor from fourth place, it does not mean that you will take part in Final Four. Panathinaikos showed skilled basketball. I am glad we had enough patience to improve our game and win.”
Jonas Maciulis and Stephane Lasme led Panathinaikos with 14 points each.