2012-13Regular SeasonRound 5
November 08, 2012 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 O2 WORLD

Maccabi 5-0 after holding off Alba in Berlin

Undefeated Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv continued its winning run with a 76-78 win over Alba Berlin at o2 Arena in Germany. Alba gave the Israeli champs all they could handle – and had a last-second shot to tie or win the game. Devin Smith led Maccabi with 20 crucial points, which included 4 triples from 5 attempts, and team captain Guy Pnini added 11 for the winners. Nihad Djedovic had a big role in bringing Berlin back after a tough start and finished with 17 points plus 7 rebounds. Deon Thompson added 14 points and Zach Morley 10 in defeat. Maccabi seemed destined to romp after scoring the game’s first 12 points, but Alba never threw in the towel, came back and fought until the bitter end. Maccabi improved to 5-0 and remains alone atop Group B at the midway point in the regular season; Alba slipped to 2-3.

First quarter: Turnovers and turmoil for Alba as Maccabi takes the lead

Berlin won the tip-off, but showed some early nerves with a turnover pass from Dashaun Wood. It was an opening minute of fouls and misplaced passes, leading to the first basket of the game: Ricky Hickmann's recovery and break for a dunk. Alba again gave it away to Hickmann, and the Maccabi guard needed no invitation for an easy lay-up. Devin Smith's triple -the first jump shot of the game, put Maccabi 0-7 up off the back of its high pressure offense. Unsurprisingly, Alba coach Sasa Obradovic called a timeout to give instructions to his men. Vule Avdalovic's frustration with the 6 turnovers conceded by the host –previously the team with the least conceded in the entire Euroleague- in the opening four-and-a-half minutes led to an unsportsmanlike foul, and he had reason to be annoyed; Maccabi had gone 0-12 up before Alba had even got its motor running. It finally got on the board after six minutes of play, when Yassin Idbihi hit a jumper from mid-range. Brought on as a sub, Idbihi provided a boost for an Alba team struggling to keep up with Maccabi's high-tempo play. Morley's three from the top of the key brought things back to 10-16 after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Alba tightens things up through impact sub Djedovic

Alba came out strong for the second quarter with a hustle steal from Wood. His basket, combined with a triple from Djedovic, put Alba back within a point of the lead. The problem for the home team was Maccabi’s instant responses; every time it scored, the visitors would head straight down the court to re-establish the advantage. Some speedy movement from Hickmann was capped off by one of the most spectacular layups of the first half, but he had an equal for pace wearing yellow: Djedovic. The Bosnian guard dragged Alba back to 25-26 halfway through the quarter, and finally it was Morley’s three-point skill that tied the game 30-30 for the briefest of moments. Maccabi prevented any consistent run of scoring and didn’t let up the tempo in search of a halftime lead. Devin Smith’s third triple from five attempts showed that Alba would have to watch out, wherever Maccabi had possession of the ball. The point was made clear when Pnini hit a three of his own. Djedovic’s personal come back concluded the first half, as he hit a crucial spin move layup to end things at 35-38. Alba had outscored Maccabi in the second quarter, but was still paying the price for its slow start.

Third quarter: Alba’s first lead… briefly

Avdalovic’s easy basket in the key and center Albert Miralles’ reverse putback turned the momentum in Alba’s favor, leading to the home side finally going ahead for the first time in the game from Deon Thompson’s free throws. With the score at 41-40, Alba cutting out the turnovers and Miralles growing in influence inside, Maccabi was now the team needing to react. Heiko Schaffartzik’s first points of the game –a triple that hit nothing but net – gave Berlin its biggest lead of the contest. Threes were becoming key to the game, and Devin Smith’s deadly accuracy from perimeter range helped to turn around a 5-point difference and get Maccabi back in front. Djedovic hit his second triple for Alba, and so the third quarter went into its final 90 seconds with the score at 50-52. Maccabi’s ability to claim turnovers returned for the end of the quarter, as did its lead: 52-56.

Fourth quarter: Right to the buzzer

Pnini started the fourth quarter as he ended the third, putting in shots for Maccabi. A more comfortable 8-point lead was the result, but Alba managed to bring it back to 5 with a Wood three. Otherwise fairly contained, Hickmann popped up with an important basket, even if he was to miss the bonus free throw. David Logan knocked down a three at the halfway mark of the final quarter, taking the score to 63-70 for his team. The answer to that came from the outstandingly accurate Wood, whose triple and alley-oop to Thompson showed that Alba wasn’t out of it yet. Shaffartzik decided it was time to break out the no-look passes, and served up a treat for Thompson for his seventh assist, Thompson’s 14th points of the game and Alba’s chance to snatch the victory with the game poised at 74-76. The final minute was as testy as expected, and Alba stayed within 2 through the quiet Vule Avdalovic, whose shot from right on the three-point line. Unable to foul with 31 seconds on the clock, the Game Of The Week was set for a grandstand finale. Avdalovic got the turnover, but Shaffartzik was forced into a long shot on the buzzer; it wasn’t to be. Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv took the win, 76-78, remaining undefeated, though Alba Berlin showed that it can hang with the best.

Devin Smith - Maccabi Electra - EB12
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Attendance: 9432 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Alba Berlin10251724
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv16221822
End of Quarter1234
Alba Berlin10355276
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv16385678
Alba Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 AVDALOVIC, VULE 27:28 9 4/5 0/2 1/2 1   1 1 1 4     1 5 8
6 SCHULTZE, SVEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SCHAFFARTZIK, HEIKO 31:01 3 0/6 1/6   1   1 7       2 2 2 -2
9 THOMPSON, DEON 31:23 14 4/6 0/1 6/9 3 3 6 1   1     1 5 18
10 FULLE, SEBASTIAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 MONSE, STEVEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 DEDOVIC, NIHAD 22:56 17 4/7 2/2 3/4 2 5 7 1 2 3     1 3 22
19 MIRALLES, ALBERT 24:27 9 4/4 0/1 1/2 2 5 7       1   4 2 13
23 WOOD, DASHAUN 21:02 8 1/1 2/4     1 1 2 1 5     3 2 4
34 IDBIHI, YASSIN 14:37 6 3/5     1 4 5     2   1 4   2
44 MORLEY, ZACH 27:06 10 1/4 2/2 2/2 2 2 4 3   1 1   1 2 15
Totals 200:00 76 21/38 7/18 13/19 12 20 32 15 4 16 2 3 17 21 80
        55.3% 38.9% 68.4%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 LOGAN, DAVID 27:06 8 1/3 2/5     1 1 1 1 1 1   3 1 4
5 JAMES, SHAWN 14:59 6 3/4     2 1 3 1 1 1 1   2 2 10
6 SMITH, DEVIN 27:41 20 2/6 4/5 4/4       3   2 1   2 6 21
7 HICKMAN, RICKY 20:40 8 4/4 0/3 0/1 1   1 3 1 2     3 3 7
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 17:26 6 2/7 0/1 2/2 1 1 2 4 1 2     2 1 4
9 ROTH, MORAN 1:24         1 1 2 1             3
10 PNINI, GUY 16:18 11 4/5 1/3   2 1 3 1 2     1 2   11
11 CANER-MEDLEY, NIK 11:22 2 1/2 0/2             1     2   -4
12 OHAYON, YOGEV 26:11 1 0/3 0/1 1/2 1 2 3 1 1 1     2 2  
13 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 12:56 7 3/3   1/1 2   2           2 1 8
14 THOMAS, MALCOLM 22:07 9 4/7   1/1 1 5 6   1 2   1   1 11
21 LANDESBERG, SYLVEN 1:50                         1   -1
Team             6 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 78 24/44 7/20 9/11 11 18 29 15 8 13 3 2 21 17 79
        54.5% 35% 81.8%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID

Head Coaches

Alba Berlin
"I have an emotional feeling, that we really could have won this game against this big opponent. It is not easy, but we definitely have to learn from this game. You could see in certain phases, when you had to play calmly, we did not have to the calmness to do so. This definitely is a matter of experience. Most of our players are for the first time playing in such a high competition. We had big, maybe too big, respect in the beginning of the game. Our many turnovers put us in the situation to have a doubt on everything we did. But regarding how we picked up to play our game and stayed in the game until the very end, we cannot be dissatisfied. With the way we fought and the way we did not give up, I think, we presented ourselves very good as a team. Therefore I believe, that in the end we will come out stronger, not weaker out of this game."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"Like we expected, this game was a very difficult and challenging one to win. It was a very close battle between two good teams. Alba is a very well coached and disciplined team, that takes advantage of the many options in their game. I thought, when we played aggressively and created good offense through good defense, we were okay. When we began to play more tentatively, Alba certainly took over the momentum of the game and played very aggressively and very well and obvious put us in a lot of trouble. I am glad, that in the very end, we found a way to win this game, which certainly could have gone the other way. I think Alba can qualify for the Top16 and I hope, that they do so, because they are a good team and arenas, atmospheres and fans like this deserve to be at the higher levels of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague."


Alba Berlin
"Maccabi is a great team and in the first minutes we had too much respect, which was the reason for our many turnovers. But when we realized that we had a chance to play with them, we finally showed that we are a good team and that we have character. That's why I think, that although In the end we missed the last shot for the win, it still was a good game for us."
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
"My teammates did a great job to create open shots for me. This road win, of course, is a great one for us, because we are now 5-0, even though we are a new team and had to deal with several injuries at the beginning of the season. We started very well, but Alba proved that they are a good team by staying in the game and fighting back. "