ALBA blasts Baskonia in Berlin
ALBA Berlin put an end to a four-game losing streak with an 81-57 victory over KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday night. The visitors were hoping their new coach could bring them better performance, but it wasn’t to be as the home side suffocated Baskonia in transition and put on an excellent defensive performance. Baskonia scored just 26 points in the opening half as ALBA built a healthy lead going into the third. ALBA improved to 5-11 with the victory. Martin Hernannsson led the ALBA attack with 18 points, while Rokas Giedraitis scored 17, Landry Nnoko and Marcus Eriksson had 11 each and Luke Sikma scored 10. Baskonia is 1-7 in its last eight road games and has lost five of its last six overall to fall to 6-10. Shavon Shields scored 11 and Michael Eric had 10 in defeat.
Baskonia had the better start and led 1-4, but Sikma hit a three to level matters at 4-4. It remained close through the first quarter before ALBA took a 15-8 lead thanks to a Giedratis three and a pair of Nnoko scores. A Nnoko slam made it 21-12 as ALBA continued its good form. Baskonia made a late surge, but it was ALBA's quarter and it ended 23-15. Baskonia continued the comeback and made it 23-18 early in the second. Giedraitis hit another three to extend ALBA's lead to 10 and it continued to swell. ALBA exerted its dominance and Sikma hit another three to make it 37-20. Baskonia made another late comeback at the end of the second with Youssoupha Fall on target, but Hermannsson scored a late, long two to make it 41-26 at the half.
It was a positive start to the third for Baskonia as Fall scored to make it 41-28. However, points were few and ALBA hit another three to soar to 49-32. Shields responded with his a triple as Baskonia eyed a comeback. Giedraitis hit another one from deep and made it 55-37 as Baskonia’s hopes started to fade. The hosts extended that to 57-37 by the end of the third. Nik Stauskas hit a three along with Luca Vildoza and Matt Janning for Baskonia, but another Hermannsson triple made it 62-44. The home side refused to let the visitors get any closer and would not entertain the thoughts of a comeback. Hermannsson landed another crafty layup to make it 68-46. There was no stopping him as he landed another three to make it 73-48. It was little more than a formality at that stage as ALBA raced home with the win.
Rokas Giedraitis was unstoppable early as ALBA built the lead that would carry it through the third and fourth quarters. He scored 17, had 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Giedraitis showed off an outstanding work ethic in what is becoming an increasingly common performance by the Lithuanian.
Doing it all
Landry Nnoko notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as the home side leaned heavily on him early. He was particularly impressed with his side's defense. "I’m just very happy with the way we defended," he said after the game.
Baskonia welcomes FC Barcelona to start the new year on Thursday, January 2. ALBA Berlin will head to Spain to take on Valencia Basket the following evening.
Thursday, December 26, 2019