ALBA advances with victory in Monaco
ALBA Berlin booked its spot in the quarterfinals of the 7DAYS EuroCup with a 61-75 victory at AS Monaco on Tuesday night. Rokas Giedraitis collected 19 points and 6 rebounds and Landry Nnoko fought off foul trouble for 10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals for ALBA, which improved to 4-1 in Group E. ALBA outrebounded Monaco 30-44 – including 21 offensive boards and forced the home team into 19 turnovers. Joshiko Saibou added 10 points and Luke Sikma tallied 8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for the winners, who will secure first place in the group if Partizan NIS Belgrade loses to Rytas Vilnius on Wednesday. Monaco, which dropped to 2-3, was paced by Lazeric Jones's 12 points on 4-for-4 three-point shooting and Derek Needham added 10 points, but Monaco’s leading scorers Elmedin Kikanovic and Paul Lacombe were held to 6 and 5 points respectively.
ALBA got off to a hot start with Nnoko scoring 6 points in building a 2-12 lead. Monaco turned the ball over six times in the first 5 minutes and a Martin Hermannsson three-pointer increased the lead to 13 points. Eric Buckner answered with a three-point play and Needham followed with a three-pointer to trim it to 10-17. But Giedraitis hit from long range just before the first-quarter buzzer for a 16-26 ALBA cushion after 10 minutes. The visitors were held scoreless for nearly the first 8 minutes of the second quarter, but Monaco could not really take advantage of it, scoring just 8 points of its own to make it 24-26. Giedraitis drained back-to-back three-pointers to start a 0-10 run and it was 27-36 at the break. Baskets by Niels Giffey and Nnoko pushed the lead to 27-40, but Monaco found some range with Lazeric Jones, Jarrod Jones and Needham all hitting three-pointers to trim the gap to 40-44. Gerald Robinson hit back-to-back layups and Yakuba Ouattara made it 46-52, but ALBA scored the final 7 points of the quarter to lead 46-59 after 30 minutes. Nnoko pushed the run to 0-9 to make it 46-61 before Lazeric Jones's three-pointer finally got the hosts on the board after 3 minutes, 49-61. Another Lazeric Jones triple cut it to 55-65 with just more than 4 minutes, but Joshiko Saibou scored 2 baskets for a 55-69 lead with under 3 minutes left and Monaco could not get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Monaco had cut the deficit to 4 points late in the third, but an 0-9 ALBA surge spanning the final two quarters pushed the advantage to 46-61. The hosts did not get within 10 points the rest of the way.
Rokas Giedraitis came up with a number of big baskets for ALBA and finsished with 19 points including 3 three-pointers and 6 rebounds.
Elmedin Kikanovic scored 6 points for AS Monaco to push his career point total to 1,067, moving past Tre Simmons's 1,066 points and into 10th place on the all-time EuroCup scoring list. Kikanovic has scored those points in 84 games for Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, ALBA Berlin and Monaco.
ALBA grabbed 21 offensive rebounds in winning the battle of the boards 44-30. It also forced Monaco into 19 turnovers.
ALBA will host Partizan NIS Belgrade on Tuesday in Round 6. Monaco will finish off the Top 16 with a contest at Rytas Vilnius on Wednesday.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019