Banic helps ALBA hold off Galatasaray
ALBA Berlin kept its playoff chances alive and kicking after holding off Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 75-68 on Thursday night in the German capital. The win improved ALBA to 5-6 in Group E, while Galatasaray registered its eight consecutive loss, and with a 2-9 record has been eliminated from the playoff race. ALBA took the lead for good late in the first quarter, and used a 21-2 run that bridged first and second quarters to open up a 31-14 margin. The hosts cruised with a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter, but Galatasaray opened the final period with a 0-12 run, and triples from Ender Arslan got the visitors within 62-61. However, Marko Banic made a couple of big baskets in the final minutes, helping the hosts seal the deal. Banic led the winners with 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting, and Leon Radosevic had 11 points. Reggie Redding scored 10 and dished 10 assists, while Alex Renfroe had 10 points and 6 assists. On the other end, Zoran Erceg and Ender Arslan had 16 apiece, while Vladimir Micov scored 12 in defeat.
First quarter: The hosts use defense to jump in front
Radosevic scored inside on the opening possession, and after Micov opened the visitors’ tally with free throws, Banic had a put-back and Radosevic made a jumper for a 6-2 start. Justin Carter drove for a layup for Galatasaray, while Renfroe hit a jumper for ALBA. But Sinan Guler hit from downtown before assisting Micov for a fastbreak layup. The hosts went up again on an easy layup from Redding, but after a timeout, Erceg buried a three-pointer. Jonathan Tabu hit a corner triple to make it 13-12, and as ALBA did not allow a single points in the final 3:43 of the quarter, Jonas Wohlfarth helped extend the margin, banking in a shot in a crowd as the hosts went up 16-12 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: ALBA pulls away hitting from downtown
A pair of free throws from Radosevic, and a three-pointer from Alex King opened a 21-12 margin. Patric Young battled his way for a layup that ended Galatasaray’s scoring draught of more than five minutes, but Radosevic sank another long jumper and Renfroe knocked down a wide-open triple for a 26-14 lead. ALBA again kept the visitors scoreless, this time for more than four minutes, while Jamel McLean fed Banic for a layup and Tabu on a three-pointer to make it 31-14. Erceg’s triple snapped a 21-2 run, but Niels Giffey hit a three-pointer from the left corner. Micov scored twice from close range and Arslan nailed a three-pointer to get within 34-24. Banic scored an easy fastbreak layup to end a 0-7 run, and after Arslan made a couple of free throws, the final 3.8 seconds were enough for the hosts to go the full length of the court and for Banic to make a runner for a 38-26 halftime lead.
Third quarter: ALBA in control
Both offenses clicked at the start of the second half. Guler started things with a layup, but McLean bettered it with a three-point-play. Arslan scored a fastbreak layup, but Renfroe hit a corner three-pointer for 44-30. Erceg made a pair of free throws, and after Banic scored a layup, Young had a big put-back dunk. However, jumpers from Akeem Vargas and Redding extended it to 50-34. Young had another put-back dunk, but Redding nailed another long jumper for the hosts. Giffey and Micov traded tough jumpers, before a runner from McLean made it 56-38. Erceg made free throws and a long jumper, and after Redding countered with a triple, a baseline jumper from Micov made it 59-44.
Fourth quarter: Visitors rally, but ALBA holds on
Kerem Gonlum scored a layup and added a pair of foul shots to start the quarter, before Arslan and Martynas Pocius buried triples to make it 59-54. Gonlum scored two more free throws before Radosevic ended a 0-12 run with a three-point play. Erceg scored a runner, and Arslan hit way downtown for 62-61. King answered with a three, and Banic had a free throw and a layup, but Arslan banked in a triple to keep the visitors within 69-66. A huge dunk from McLean forced a Galatasaray timeout with 95 seconds to go. Guler’s basket made it a 3-point game once again, but after a timeout, Banic scored a reverse layup for 73-68 with 24 seconds to go, Erceg and Micov missed three-pointers, and Renfroe secured a rebound with 5.8 seconds left, securing victory.
Thursday, March 19, 2015