ALBA wins overtime-thriller at Le Mans
In a hard-fought rollercoaster ride in which both teams had a chance to win at the end of regulation, visiting ALBA Berlin edged Le Mans Sarthe Basket 84-88 in overtime on Wednesday. ALBA improved to 2-1 record in Group B after leading in the fourth quarter, but allowed the hosts to rally. Mickael Gelabale had a chance to win it for Le Mans, but hit only second of two free throws with 2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, sending the game to extra session, 72-72. That’s where Niels Giffey stepped up for ALBA, hitting a pair of triples, his only points of the night, to pave way for the visitors’ win. Dragan Milosavljevic scored 17 points, while Jordan Taylor had 16 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds for ALBA. Elmedin Kikanovic added 14, Will Cherry had 13, while Kresimir Loncar scored 11 points in victory. Gelabale had 15 points and 8 rebounds, and Mouphtaou Yarou also scored 15 for Le Mans. Tywain McKee had 14, while Lahaou Konate scored all of his 10 points in the second quarter for the hosts which dropped to 1-2 record.
Loncar and Milosavljevic put together a game-opening 2-10 run, before the hosts replied with 8 unanswered points behind Yarou and Gelabale. The latter traded triples with ALBA’s Alex King, and after Chris Lofton hit from downtown for Le Mans, Milosavljevic buried one with the buzzer for 16-20. King’s three-pointer gave the visitors 20-27 early in the second, but Lofton sparked things and Konate worked on both ends of the floor in a 14-2 run that he capped with a basket for 34-29. Kikanovic snapped the hosts’ run, and Milosavljevic hit another three for ALBA, but Konate remained hot, and made it 36-34 at halftime.
Gelabale and Yarou kept Le Mans in front at the start of the third period, but Taylor, Milosavljevic, Cherry and Loncar all scored to tie it at 42-42. Back-to-back threes from King and Taylor gave the visitors 45-48. After Petr Cornelie answered with a triple for the hosts, Kikanovic, Milosavljevic and Cherry gave ALBA 52-56 going into the fourth quarter. Cherry’s three-point play and Taylor’s put-back extended it to 53-61, but baskets from Yarou and Damion James, and triple from Tywain McKee cut it to 60-63. Milosavljevic’s third three-pointer made it 62-68 midway through the fourth period, but McKee made free throws then buried a three for 68-69. After Taylor on one end, and Yarou on the other each split free throws, Taylor made a pair of foul shots for 69-72 with 7 seconds to go. McKee made both free throws for the hosts, then Le Mans forced a turnover. Gelabale drew a foul, and got a chance to win it from the free throw line, but only hit second foul shot with 2 seconds left in the regulation, sending the game into overtime, 72-72.
In the extra session, Taylor scored a pair of baskets for the Berliners, but Pape-Philippe Amagou nailed a triple for 79-76. However, Giffey, scoreless up to that point, answered right back with a triple of his own, and after Kikanovic put ALBA in front for good, Giffey was money from downtown once again, 80-84 with 49 seconds left in overtime. Amagou made a pair of free throws, and McKee cut the deficit to 84-85. Cherry split free throws, and McKee missed a potential game-tying shot, before Cherry went to the line again, and secured ALBA’s win with two more free throws.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015