2009-10FinalsGame 1
April 17, 2010 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA
Alba Berlin celebrates  - Finals 2010 Vitoria-Gasteiz - EC09

Alba Berlin made it to the Eurocup final!

Alba reached its first Eurocup title game by downing Bizkaia Bilbao Basket 77-70 in the second semifinal in Vitoria, Spain on Saturday. Alba has returned to an European club competition final for the first time in 15 years - since winning the 1995 Korac Cup - and is ready to face Power Electronics Valencia in the title game tomorrow. Meanwhile, Bilbao will try to look for its best-ever Eurocup result in the third place game against Panellinios OPAP BC right before the Eurocup final. Dozens of Alba fans came to Buesa Arena by bus all the way to Berlin due to last-minute flight cancellations. Adam Chubb led the winners with 27 points on 11-of-16 two-pointers. Immanuel McElroy added 13 on 3-of-3 three-pointers, Julius Jenkins got 11 while Derrick Byars had 10 for Alba. Chris Warren led Bilbao with 14 points. Jerome Moiso added 12 while Alex Mumbru and Axel Hervelle each had 10. A 0-9 run that Mumbru capped with a layup allowed Bilbao to get an early 4-9 lead. Alba ran its offense through Byars and got some help from Julius Jenkins and Adam Chubb to get a 18-15 edge late in this period. Hervelle struck from downtown for a 18-18 tie after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Rashad Wright boosted Alba's lead to 31-22 midway through the second quarter but Javi Salgado and a dominant Moiso allowed Bilbao to get within 35-30 at halftime. Chubb took over after the break and three-pointers by McElroy and Jenkins gave Alba a 56-47 margin late in the third quarter. Alba kept dominating the game with outstanding defense but Moiso, Hervelle and Mumbru got Bilbao within 67-64 with 2 minutes left. McElroy buried a critical three-pointer and free throws by Wright sealed the outcome to send Alba to the Eurocup title game.

Both teams struggled to score early, as Alba tried to get Blagota Sekulic involved to get Moiso into foul trouble. Byars got Alba going with 4-of-5 free throws, as Mumbru fouled him in a three-point attempt and then got a technical. Hervelle stepped up with a tip-in but Moiso set the crowd on fire with a wild put-back dunk over Sekulic. Bilbao had already entered the foul bonus, but Salgado buried his trademark rainbow triple off the dribble and fed Mumbru for a layup in transition that capped a 0-9 run and gave his team a 4-9 edge. Chubb scored down low and McElroy collected a steal and raced downcourt for a layup, good for a 8-9 Alba deficit. Moiso sank free throws but Byars followed an acrobatic floating layup with a running hook to put Alba back ahead, 12-11. Moiso scored down low and Chris Warren added a reverse layup, as Marko Banic came off the bench to improve his team's offense. Chubb sank free throws, as Jenkins stepped on court for the first time in three weeks. He immediately delivered with a fast break layup but a catch-and-shoot three-pointer by Hervelle tied it at 18-18 after 10 minutes.

Bilbao tried to improve its ball circulation with Javi Rodriguez, Blums and Ronnie Seibutis together on court early in the second quarter. Chubb took over with a dunk-and-foul but a power layup by Banic got Bilbao within 21-20. Chubb rolled off a high-post pick for an easy basket and a wide open three-pointer by Jurica Golemac forced Bilbao to call timeout at 26-20. Banic rescued Bilbao with a reverse layup that Jenkins erased with a big basket in transition. Wright soon struck from downtown to make it a nine-point game, 31-22. Bilbao struggled to score but had started to power the offensive board. Blums finished a two-chance Bilbao offense with a driving layup and Salgado copied him soon after that to make Alba call timeout at 31-26. Chubb shined with a put-back basket that Warren erased with another driving layup, as Alba tried to slow down the game tempo. Moiso kept intimidating and rejecting shots but Alba kept relying on its well-adjusted man-to-man defense. Moiso banked in a turnaround jumper but Chubb answered with a reverse layup off a timeout, good for a 35-30 Alba lead at halftime.

Byars scored in penetration soon after the break, as Alba went back to its starting five, with Dragan Dojcin guarding Hervelle. Wright beat the shot clock buzzer with a rainbow three-pointer but back-to-back baskets by Hervelle and Mumbru got Bilbao within 40-34. The game turned into a phsyical battle and Bilbao made the most out of it, changing its momentum with strong, aggressive defense. Wright and Byars returned to the bench with 3 fouls eachbut McElroy stepped up with a wild driving basket. Chubb sank a jump hook and then matched Warren's follow-up layup with another low post basket, good for a 46-38 score. Mumbru scored in transition but Bilbao lacked patience to organize its offense. Hervelle, however, downed a fallaway jumper to make Alba call timeout at 46-42. McElroy silenced all Bilbao fans with a seven-meter bomb and Golemac beat the shot clock with an acrobatic jumper to keep Alba ahead, 51-44. Warren and Salgado rescued Bilbao with free throws but Jenkins struck from downtown for a 56-47 score. Free throws by Warren brought Bilbao within 56-49 at the end of the third quarter.

Alba kept following its game plan early in the fourth quarter, with a very patient offense trying to get McElroy and Sekulic involved. Seibutis downed foul shots but Chubb finished yet another long Alba offense with an easy layup, good for a 58-51 lead with 8 minutes left. Bilbao kept struggling to score and failed to get Banic involved but Blums took over with a seven-meter triple. Alba had started to use McElroy at point forward and kept slowing the game tempo. McElroy took over with another three-pointer that kept Alba out of trouble, 61-54, with under 6 minutes to go. Blums, Damir Markota and Warren missed consecutive shots from downtown but Moiso followed a layup with a baseline jumper to give his team some hope at 63-58. Chubb scored down low but Hervelle answered from downtown to get Bilbao even closer, 65-61. Chubb - who else? - sank free throws but Mumbru downed a three-pointer for a 67-64 Bilbao deficit with 2 minutes left. McElroy stepped up with a critical three-pointer and Dojcin collected a steal that allowed Wright to seal the outcome from the foul line, 72-64, with over a minute left. Another triple by Alba allowed its fans - that came by bus due to flight cancellations - to celebrate that their dream to win the Eurocup title is very much alive.

Adam Chubb - Alba Berlin - Finals 2010 Vitoria-Gasteiz - EC09
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Javier Gancedo, Eurocupbasketball.com, Vitoria, Spain
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Attendance: 7000 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Alba Berlin18172121
Bizkaia Bilbao18121921
End of Quarter1234
Alba Berlin18355677
Bizkaia Bilbao18304970
Alba Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BYARS, DERRICK 19:10 10 3/6 0/2 4/5   3 3 3 1     1 5 2 7
6 HAMANN, STEFFEN 22:51   0/1 0/2   1 3 4 5         3   3
7 ZWIENER, PHILLIP DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 DOJCIN, DRAGAN 25:39   0/1     2 2 4 4 1       1 1 8
9 GOLEMAC, JURICA 14:21 5 1/1 1/3     1 1 1 1 2     3 1 2
10 SEKULIC, BLAGOTA 11:58 2 1/3               1 1   2 2  
11 JENKINS, JULIUS 25:57 11 2/3 2/4 1/2   1 1 2   1     3 2 8
12 WRIGHT, RASHAD 20:36 9 0/1 2/3 3/4   1 1 1   1   1 4 4 6
14 CHUBB, ADAM 27:58 27 11/16   5/5 2 5 7     1   1 2 6 31
15 NALGA, CEMAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 McELROY, IMMANUEL 31:30 13 2/5 3/3   1   1 1 3 3     1   11
24 STAIGER, LUCCA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 3 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 77 20/37 8/17 13/16 7 19 26 17 6 10 1 3 24 18 79
        54.1% 47.1% 81.3%
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
Bizkaia Bilbao
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 WARREN, CHRIS 31:53 14 4/7 0/5 6/8 3 5 8 1 2 1     3 8 19
5 MOISO, JEROME 25:22 12 5/5   2/2 1 2 3   1   2   2 4 20
6 RODRIGUEZ, JAVI 4:06           1 1 1         1   1
7 HAMPL, TOMAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 VAZQUEZ, PACO 0:11                              
10 SEIBUTIS, RENALDAS 13:32 6 1/1 0/1 4/4       2         2 3 8
11 MARKOTA, DAMIR 6:58     0/1     2 2     1       1 1
13 BANIC, MARKO 17:55 4 2/3     1   1   1 1       1 5
14 SALGADO, JAVI 32:00 9 1/2 1/5 4/4   1 1 2 2 1     2 4 10
15 MUMBRU, ALEX 17:58 10 3/6 1/2 1/4         1 3   1 3 3  
17 HERVELLE, AXEL 29:38 10 2/5 2/5     5 5 1   3 1   3   5
45 BLUMS, JANIS 20:27 5 1/1 1/4         3         3   2
Team           2 4 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 70 19/30 5/23 17/22 7 20 27 10 7 11 3 1 19 24 76
        63.3% 21.7% 77.3%

Head Coaches

Alba Berlin
"Good evening. I will first express my congratulations to my players, who played well in a extremely strong and demanding game in these semifinals. I think it was a very difficult moment for the team to come after certain situations like injuries and a very long season. We've had and expressed a strong determination and initiative in order to play a road game, so to speak, in front of a large number of fans from Bilbao who came to Vitoria to see their team. Bilbao is a very strong unit, with lots of good individuals and excellent coaching, a club trying very hard to step up to the top level in Europe. To stop them, we had to be very disciplined, very aggressive and calm. At the same time, we had to work on our offense, but never forgetting that the defensive end is going to keep us in the game. Through the course of the game, 40 minutes, we exercised this on a high level and we were rewarded by a game that I think we controlled and won as a consequence. Again, I'd like to congratulate my players and express my extreme admiration for our fans who sat 26 hours on a bus to come see us. If we needed 1 percent of motivation more, they gave it to us."

"I think there is a place for feeling good, but no place for celebrating, because this was a semifinals and tomorrow is the final. We have to be aware of this. I do hope to sleep, but at this point we've scheduled a staff meeting to go over material to get our players as prepared as possible on short notice tomorrow. We'll organize that material first, then hope to get a good night's sleep, which is what we all need to enter the final well."
Bizkaia Bilbao
"Of course, we feel bad. Alba was much faster than us, above all on defense. We had a lot of trouble defending pick-and-rolls. That has hurt us on offense end, too, because our shooters weren't shooting well. It's probable that Alba is more accustomed than us to play this type of game. For that reason, we needed to play harder than them, but we didn't. We didn't have the proper intensity on defense, above all against the pick-and-roll, which is a lot of Alba's offense. We have to suffer through this together to be stronger from it starting Monday, when we have to start fighting for the playoffs in the ACB."

"We are a young team and the reactions we had were human. With all the expectations facing them, and with the challenge of playing here, it is not always easy to deal with for young players. If they are players with experience, yes. With a young team, it's not easy to control those emotions. Some do it more than others, but it's hard to control. Marko Banic is the MVP of this competition and a player who is very important for us, one of the keys for our team. All the responsibility that comes with that is normal, but all the weight he has on his shoulders in these games, it's not easy to control in front of your own fans who expect so much. That's not to say he doesn't have heart, he has a huge one. But this is a young team and we have to grow strong together. That's why it's very important for us to be strong tomorrow. There is nothing to lose in that game, but all of us - players, coaches, club, fans - have to be strong to keep progressing and grow as a club together."


Alba Berlin
"As always, the key was our start of the game and defense, hard defense. We stopped their main players and put them into trouble from the very beginning. We saw the way they were playing defense and had the chance to feed our big guys down there to score easy basket. We played a very good game, controlling the tempo for 35 minutes. This is an amazing achievement. Of course, this win is for our fans that came all the way from Berlin. It took them 26 hours to come here and this is for them. It was really hard against 70-80% of Bilbao fans but we are experienced and played the underdog role. We know what we came here for."
Alba Berlin
"It took an overall team effort to beat Bizkaia Bilbao Basket. We had a great game plan by the coaching staff and executed it very well. We controlled the game tempo from the start, not letting them get a good rhythm. That was the focus that we had coming in. Everybody stepped up when we needed it. If they cut our lead, somebody would step up with a big basket or get a good stop. That was the focus we had and the thing we talked about coming here. This is what we wanted to do. We really wanted to come here and give our heart out the whole weekend. We are looking forward for another challenge tomorrow."
Alba Berlin
"We tried to control the game from start to finish, and play hard for 40 minutes. We played solid defense and controlled every possession. We couldn't turn the ball over many times if we wanted to win this game. We had to keep control - and this what we did. I feel great and hopefully we can come back to the arena tomorrow, execute a good game plan. We know what we are able to do it and hopefully will be able to put in into practice in the final against Power Electronics Valencia."
Alba Berlin
"We knew thay would use Alex Mumbru in the lost a lot so we kind of took that away in the first half. We stepped up in defense, especially in the second half, and that was the key to this game. We stopped their transition game and just played smart and executed our offense. Coach told us that we wanted to limite their easy buckets, especially from Marko Banic, Jerome Moiso and Mumbru. Like I said, that was the key and it was tough for me because I kept getting fouls. Adam was huge today. He did exactly what he is capable of doing and it is not easy what he did, because Bilbao has Moiso, Banic, Axel Hervelle... but Adam played huge against them."
Bizkaia Bilbao
"We lost because they were better than us tonight. Their execution, their patience, their defense, we were unable to get things we normally do. They played better in much more aspects, so I just can to congratulate them for the win. In these kind of games you have to be prepared to be up and down, because they are very close games. When we got closer to them they were very patient and stopped our run, and that’s why they ended up winning the game. It’s always disappointing to play for the third place in a tournament like this, because you want the title, but we need to come out strong as a team and finish the best way we can."
Bizkaia Bilbao
"Alba has played a very solid game. Once they amassed a 6-7 point lead it turned it too difficult for us to come back. We were close in the last quarter, though, but we fell short in the end. They have a quality backcourt, and they exploited it to create and make the frontcourt play. Chubb did a great job tonight, it hurt us pretty much. He is a very big man, who knows to use his size, and took advantage of the advantages they created in pick and roll situations to score. Tomorrow’s game is not a punishment, we all knew that the loser should have to play that game. It’s a matter of having a positive approach and try to win it. It will be difficult but there is no other option."
Bizkaia Bilbao
"We trailed for all game long, not by very big differences, but they played very solid, they prepared the game pretty well, and they knew how to maintain the lead all the time. We missed too much, we missed some easy baskets and free throws that prevented us to cap the comeback. We could have make it a one-point game with less than two minutes to the end, but our mistakes ruined it in the end. I feel terrible for the fans, because they were amazing tonight, supporting us all game long. It’s difficult to focus on the next game, obviously, but we must to do it and try to win."
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