ALBA survives OT, edges Tofas on the road
In an exciting game that saw two opposite halves before being decided in overtime, ALBA Berlin edged Tofas Bursa 101-106 on the road on Wednesday night. ALBA picked up its fourth straight win and remained the Group B group co-leader with a 6-1 record, while Tofas fell to 2-4. ALBA led by 20 points at halftime, but Tofas rallied in the third quarter and took the lead in the fourth. However, the visitors found a way to force overtime and then prevailed. Rokas Giedraitis led ALBA with 21 points and 9 rebounds, while for Tofas, Sammy Mejia led all scorers with 28 points and 6 assists and Diante Garrett had 22 points, 11 assists and 3 steals in the losing effort.
The game started with the teams playing up-tempo basketball and Tofas taking a 12-6 lead as Garrett hit a three and Kyle Weems scored consecutive baskets. But ALBA used its great ball movement on offense to make a charge and take control of the game. The visitors answered as Luke Sikma sparked a 0-6 run, before Niels Giffey and Franz Wagner each hit a triple in a 0-10 run to end the first quarter with ALBA up 17-24. ALBA continued its charge in the second quarter with a 0-11 run, as Giffey, Martin Hermannsson and Clint Chapman hit back-to-back-to-back threes and opened a 22-38 lead. A three-pointer from Giedraitis extended the margin to 20 points, and even though Mejia scored 5 points for Tofas, Kenneth Ogbie became the sixth different ALBA player to hit a triple in the first half, making it 32-52 at halftime. After the break, Tofas increased defensive intensity and started melting the lead. Three-pointers from Mejia and Weems during a 13-0 run cut the deficit to 47-54. The hosts held ALBA without a field goal for almost six minutes and used a pair of threes from each Garrett and Weems to get within 59-61. Hermannsson helped ALBA remain ahead 64-68 after 30 minutes, but Mejia nailed a pair of triples and a jumper to help Tofas rally all the way back and take a 78-76 lead with 6:19 to go. ALBA restored an 84-85 edge with a three-pointer from Giedraitis and after a corner three-pointer from Berkan Durmaz helped the hosts go up 90-86. Giedraitis hit back-to-back second-chance triples and tied the game at 92-92 with 21.7 seconds left. The game went into overtime where Tim Schneider his a triple and Stefano Peno scored twice inside to give the visitors the lead for good, 97-99. ALBA did not allow a single field goal for almost three minutes, a span during which a drive from Sikma made it 99-103 with 69 seconds to go and the visitors held on for their fourth straight victory.
Sammy Mejia and Diante Garrett shined for Tofas, but it was Rokas Giedraitis who was clutch for ALBA. He hit 3 triples in the final 2:23 of the regulation, including a second-chance triple with 21 seconds to go that tied the game at 92-92 and sent the game into an extra session. Giedraitis scored 21 points on 4-for-5 for two-point shooting and 4-for-6 three-point shooting plus 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
Movers and shakers
There were eight more double-digit scorers in the game. Clint Chapman had 15 for ALBA; Niels Giffey posted 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists; Johannes Thiemann also scored 14; Martin Hermannsson had 11 points and 8 assists before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter; and Stefan Peno had 10 points and 7 assists in the victory. For Tofas, Kyle Weems had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals; Kenny Kadji scored 13; and Berkan Durmaz added 10 points for the hosts.
ALBA's 106 points was a club-record for points scored in a road game, surpassing a record it set in Round 2 game against Limoges. Before this season, ALBA never scored 100 points in a road game, but has done so twice this season. ALBA dished 29 assists, which is also a club record for a road game in the EuroCup. This is ALBA's 12th season in the competition.
In the first half ALBA scored 21 field goals, with 18 of them being assisted. It shot 14 of 18 for two points and made 7 of 12 threes. It had nine different scorers and nine different players who dished at least 1 assist before halftime.
Did you notice?
The were no offensive boards in first 14 minutes of the game. The first offensive rebound was by Diante Garrett with six minutes remaining in the second quarter. ALBA pulled down its first offensive rebound with 1:25 to go in the first half, a put-back basket by Clint Chapman.
Next week in Round 7, Tofas goes on the road to play last-placed Arka Gdyina on Tuesday, and a day later ALBA welcomes third-placed Cedevita Zagreb.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018