Alba Berlin has held serve on its home court Wednesday, defeating Charleroi 99-87 to raise its record to 3-4 and stay within shouting distance of all-important fourth place in Group A. Charleroi, meanwhile, falls to 1-6 and one step further back from a chance at the Top 16. The game, which was thrilling for 30 minutes, was decided at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when Alba point guard Derrick Phelps, more or less invisible during the first 30 minutes, scored eight points and turned the game to Alba's side 78-71. Another pair of three-pointers plus a fifth foul on Roger Huggins did the rest of the damange to Charlero. Phelps ended the game as top scorer with 24 points, 17 of those in the last quarter. Jim Potter had a similar explosion in the third quarter, when he hit 18 of his team-high 20 points for Charleroi. AIn a great matchup at small forward, Huggins tallied 15 points for the losers and Wendell Alexis 21 for the winners. Alba overall was more precise in three-pointers (12 of 22) and free throws (23 of 27) which were big clues to the victory.
The Berliners, with newly signed Dejan Koturovic starting at center, used two early three-pointers by Marko Pesic to surge ahead 15-9. When Jacques Stas stepped on court, the offense of Charleroi improved a lot: A 11-0 run gave the Belgians a lead of 15-20. In the second quarter Alba came back with stronger defense, which gave the home team some fastbreaks. Precise shooting by Sven Schultze (8 points in quarter) and Wendel Alexis (13 on the half) helped hold off Huggins and Charleroi with a 41-38 advantage tat the half.
In the third quarter, the game exploded into a thrilling three-point shootout, featuring a sensational performance of Jim Potter, who scored 18 points in 10 minutes. The forward not only hit his shots from the distance, he was everywhere, grabbing offensive rebounds and finishing fast breaks. Alba had to put on their best scoring efforts, too, with three-pointers by Pesic (2), Lutcke and Phelps, the home team was only down 67-69 after 30 minutes. Then came Derrick Phelps time and Alba was on its way to its third victory in Group A.
Wednesday, December 5, 2001
Horst Schneider, Berlin