Massagno offers himself a reprieve against Friborg –

Massagno offers himself a reprieve against Friborg –
Massagno offers himself a reprieve against Friborg –

Massagno can still hope to win his first Swiss championship title this spring. With their backs to the wall, the Ticino beat Olympic 93-80 to only be down 2-1 in the final of the SBL playoffs.

The return of Marko Mladjan (20 points, 8 rebounds), suspended for the first two matches, will inevitably have done Massagno the greatest good. Transparent and “mute” during Act II on Tuesday in Fribourg, his older brother Dusan Mladjan also recalled good memories of his former club with a 4/6 behind the arc.

The two brothers combined for 36 points in a packed Nosedo room mainly due to the larger than expected presence of Olympic supporters. But it was a prize-winning basket from Isaiah Williams (15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists on Saturday) which allowed Massagno to secure the victory.

Williams armed this crucial 3-point shot 1’20” from the end of the match, allowing his team to regain a 7-point lead (85-78). A few seconds earlier, it was Keith Clanton who was decisive by capturing a defensive rebound, after Thomas Dunans had only returned one of his two free throws.

Olympic dominated under the boards

It is undoubtedly under the panels that Massagno made the difference. The Ticinese captured 43 rebounds, including 20 in the offensive phase, compared to only 30 in total for Olympic. They also scored 21 points on their second opportunities, Friborg only 9.

In search of a 6th national title in a row, Olympic had nevertheless come a long way in this Act III. The Friborgs were up to 18 lengths behind just before half-time, before gradually coming back. They even took control for the first time since the first quarter with 7’35 remaining (67-68).

But Thibaut Petit’s players were unable to achieve this victory, synonymous with their 6th consecutive coronation. They still led 71-70 7′ from the buzzer, but then suffered a 6-0 partial in 2 minutes of play from which they ultimately did not recover. A match 4 will therefore be necessary on Tuesday in Ticino.





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