ALBA sinks Valencia in three-point shootout
Depleted ALBA Berlin hit a club-record 17 three-pointers en route to a resounding 92-100 road win against Valencia Basket on Thursday night. With a win in a game where the teams combined for 31 made three-pointers, ALBA improved its record to 4-7, while Valencia dropped to 7-4. ALBA led throughout the game, save for two brief periods, midway through the first and at the start of the third quarter. ALBA took control with a 3-23 run early in the third quarter that helped it open a 17-point lead. Despite picking it up offensively, the hosts never got closer than 8 the rest of the way. Luke Sikma was everywhere with 15 points and 12 rebounds for ALBA. Jayson Granger was the visitors' top scorer with 17 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting. Johannes Thiemann also scored 15, Niels Giffey netted 13 points and Peyton Siva had 10 assists along with 9 points. Klemen Prepelic and Martin Hermannson scored 13 apiece for Valencia, Mike Tobey and Fernando San Emeterio each scored 12 points, Guillem Vives added 11 and Nikola Kalinic 10 in the losing effort.
ALBA opened with a zone defense it used throughout the first half and opened with a 0-7 lead behind 5 points from Sikma, including a triple. Valencia answered with a 10-0 run, capped with back-to-back threes from Sam Van Rossom and Vives, but Kresimir Nikic hit a long jumper to start ALBA's 2-10 run, in which Siva and Granger each nailed a three-pointer. After Vives and Tim Schneider traded threes, Luis Olinde scored inside and Maodo Lo from the outside to make it 19-27 late in the first. Hermannsson hit twice from long range to open the second quarter, but Giffey and Thiemann answered each with a triple of their own. The fast pace continued with the teams trading baskets. Jaime Pradilla and Prepelic scored from close range for the hosts, but Lo and Olinde hit from long range for ALBA, before Granger's driving layup created a double-digit margin, 37-47. However, the hosts scored the final 8 points of the half, including a three from San Emeterio, to close within 50-51 at the break.
Van Rossom's triple put Valencia up 54-51 at the start of the third, but ALBA answered with a quick 0-9 run that saw Giffey knock down a three and Nikic score on a fastbreak. After a three-pointer from Vives, ALBA strung together 14 points on five trips down the floor, with Granger and Giffey combining to knock down 3 triples and Siva scoring a three-point play to open a 57-74 margin. Prepelic had a runner to snap a 0-14 run, but the visitors increased the margin to 63-83 in the final minute of the quarter. But Valencia did not have any intention of going away. Hermannsson and Prepelic hit back-to-back threes to start the fourth and cut it to 71-83. Granger scored twice and Siva hit another from downtown for the visitors to make it 76-92, but Tobey scored from close- and long-range to get within 83-92 with 5:20 to go. After a timeout, Giffey and Thiemann restored a double-digit margin. Another triple from Tobey got Valencia within 88-96, but that's the closest the hosts got as a pair of jumpers from Thiemann sealed the outcome.
The two teams combined for 31 three-pointers - ALBA hit a club-record 17 threes on 32 attempts and Valencia added 14. It tied the record for combined three-pointers made in a single non-overtime game, set by Anadolu Efes Istanbul and FC Barcelona in March 2018. The all-time record belongs to Pau Orthez and Lottomatica Roma, which hit 35 triples in Roma's overtime win in 2003.
ALBA outrebounded Valencia 39-23. ALBA grabbed 14 offensive rebounds on 29 missed field goals, while Valencia had just 15 defensive boards.
ALBA's (near) record night
ALBA entered the game averaging 18.3 assists and 8.3 triples per game, but the team had 17 assists and 9 triples in the first half alone. ALBA finished with its all-time best 17 threes and dished 28 assists - 1 shy of the club record it set last week. It is the sixth time this century ALBA has scored 100 or more points and its 124 PIR is ALBA's third-most this century.
ALBA came into the game 48 hours after scoring just 55 points in Milan and without three starters: Marcus Eriksson, Simone Fontecchio and Ben Lammers. However, the team scored 51 points before halftime and went on to have one of its best-ever offensive performances in a single EuroLeague game.
Next week Valencia will play a rescheduled Round 4 game against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday, December 8. ALBA hosts Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul for its next game on Thursday.
Thursday, December 3, 2020