ALBA outlasts Zvezda in overtime thriller
ALBA Berlin won at Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade on Friday night, outlasting the hosts 85-94 after overtime. The tone was set early with a 22-21 scoreline after the first quarter, and neither team was able to take control until ALBA dominated the extra period to claim the victory. ALBA had five scorers in double digits with Luke Sikma and Peyton Siva scoring 15 each, Martin Hermannsson 13, Landry Nnoko with 12 and Marcus Eriksson 10. Sikma also had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Zvezda’s Kevin Punter led all scorers with 24 points, while Vladmir Stimac and Lorenzo Brown both had 12 apiece. ALBA improves to 7-13 after winning both games in the double round week, and Zvezda slips to 9-11.
Branko Lazic helped Zvezda to a 5-0 lead before Sikma responded with a three, and Rokas Giedraitis gave ALBA its first lead with a dunk-and-one. Borisa Simanic scored a trio of baskets to keep Zvezda moving, and Tyler Cavanaugh's lay-up was answered by a corner three from Lazic and it was 22-21 after the first quarter. Cavanaugh sent ALBA back ahead before Zvezda put some daylight between the sides, 30-25, with Punter scoring his first points of the night. Thiemann’s three-point play and strikes from Marcus Eriksson and Makai Mason swung the lead again, before Punter replied by landing a very long three to make it 39-37 with a minute to go, then adding another score to make it 43-39 at the break. The third quarter started as the rest of the game had gone, with both offenses scoring freely. Eriksson netted from deep but Billy Baron did the same to help Zvezda to its biggest lead of the night at 54-47, but Sikma hit a three to keep Alba in touch. Siva and Sikma both struck from downtown as ALBA retook the lead, 57-59, before Punter and Siva again struck from deep for 62-62 after three quarters. Hermannsson’s three gave ALBA the lead, but James Gist sent Zvezda ahead from the foul line. Then Mason got himself a triple, before Siva and Sikma were on target for a 76-77 edge. Nnoko’s put-back slam made it 77-79 with under a minute to play, but Punter forced overtime with free throws as Stimac missed on the final buzzer. Sikma and Hermannsson allowed ALBA to take control of the extra period, and another triple from Hermannsson put the game beyond Zvezda, 83-91, with a minute to play.
Player of the game
Luka Sikma recorded his fourth double double of the season with 15 points, tied for his third highest total of the year, along with 10 rebounds and four assists to boot in his 33:51 on the floor.
Masters of three
Both teams impressed from long-range, with Zvezda hitting 10 three-pointers and ALBA 14. Sikma and Martin Hermannsson hit three apiece for ALBA and Billy Baron and Kevin Punter did the same for Zvezda, but they were outdone by Peyton Siva who made 4 of 6 from long range in under 20 minutes.
ALBA is on the road again to play Zalgiris Kaunas on January 24. Zvezda travels to Spain to play FC Barcelona on January 23.
Friday, January 17, 2020