2018-19FinalsGame 1
April 09, 2019 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 LA FONTETA

Valencia roars to 89-75 Game 1 home win

Valencia Basket took the first step towards lifting the 7DAYS EuroCup trophy for the fourth time by downing ALBA Berlin 89-75 at home in Game 1 of the EuroCup Finals on Tuesday. Valencia has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series, which now travels to Berlin for Game 2 on Friday. Will Thomas led the winners with a career-high 22 points. Matt Thomas added 16, Sam Van Rossom 15 and Fernando San Emeterio 11 for the victors. Peyton Siva led ALBA with 17 points while Martin Hermannsson was right behind with 16. An 8-0 run which Aaron Doornekamp capped with a turnaround jumper allowed Valencia to keep a 20-13 lead after 10 minutes. Will Thomas and Matt Thomas made it a a double-digit game, 28-18, early in the second quarter. Neils Giffey and Hermannsson stepped up to tie the game, 35-35, but Mike Tobey and San Emeterio combined for 6 quick points for a 41-38 Valencia edge at halftime. A three-pointer by Siva tied the game again, 49-49, early in the third quarter, but Van Rossom and San Emeterio fueled a 14-0 run that broke the game open, 63-49. Valencia boosted its margin to 71-53 at the end of the third quarter and kept a safe margin until the final buzzer.

Rokas Giedraitis got ALBA going with a corner triple before a dunk by Dennis Clifford gave the guests a 2-5 lead. Will Thomas followed a three-pointer with a fastbreak layup to give Valencia its first lead, 7-5. Clifford downed a jumper and Luke Sikma added a triple but Valencia kept running its offense through an unstoppable Will Thomas, who kept the hosts ahead, 11-10. Bojan Dubljevic and Louis Labeyrie scored down low, and a turnaround jumper by Doornekamp boosted Valencia's lead to 17-10. Siva and Matt Thomas each struck from downtown to fix the score at 20-13 after 10 minutes. Matt Thomas hit twice from beyond the arc for a 26-15 Valencia lead early in the second quarter. Giffey followed a triple with a reverse layup and Hermannsson also struck from downtown to bring ALBA within 28-23. Will Thomas stepped up with a three-point play and even when Sikma swished a floater, Matt Thomas restored a 33-25 Valencia margin. Franz Wagner downed an acrobatic layup before a three-pointer by Siva made Valencia call timeout at 33-30. Johannes Thiemann and Van Rossom traded layups before a three-point play by Hermannsson tied it at 35-35. Tobey and San Emeterio put Valencia back ahead, 41-38, at halftime.

San Emeterio took over with a three-point play after the break but Giedraitis followed a triple with a driving layup and Siva struck twice from downtown to tie it at 49-49. Valencia looked for its most experienced players, as San Emeterio and Van Rossom combined for 9 points in a 14-0 run that Matt Thomas capped with a bomb from beyond the arc that broke the game open, 63-49. Landry Nnoko and Giffey tried to change things for ALBA but Matt Thomas, Dubljevic and Labeyrie kept Valencia way ahead, 71-53, after 30 minutes. Thiemann followed a huge dunk with a layup early in the fourth quarter and Sikma scored down low to make Valencia call timeout, 71-59, with over 7 minutes left. Thiemann scored again but so did Will Thomas for a 73-62 Valencia advantage. Dubljevic sank a jump hook before Hermannsson and Kenneth Ogbe gave ALBA hope a 75-65 with less than 4 minutes to go. A big basket by Will Thomas and a three-point play by Vam Rossom sealed the outcome, 80-65, as ALBA never recovered.

Pivotal performer

Will Thomas took over early and put Valencia in the right track to win Game 1. He had 14 of his career-high 22 points points in the opening 15 minutes, hitting 9-of-13 two-point shots, 1-of-2 triples and his only free throw attempts. He added 6 rebounds and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 25.

Game-changing moment

A three-point shot by Siva tied the game for the last time, 49-49, soon after halftime. San Emeterio and Will Thomas scored consecutive baskets, igniting a 14-0 run in which Van Rossom and Matt Thomas each struck from downtown to give Valencia a solid lead for good, 63-49, late in the third quarter. Valencia never looked back after that.

Stellar stat

Van Rossom climbed to eighth place in the EuroCup's all-time assists list, passing Yotam Halperin. Van Rossom dished 7 assists and now totals 317, one more than Halperin. Stefan Markovic leads the all-time list with 491. Van Rossom now needs 15 assists to go past Marko Popovic, who ranks seventh with 331.

Did you notice?

Valencia won the opening home game of a two-way or best-of-three EuroCup series for the 15th time. In the previous 14 times that Valencia won a Game 1 at home, it took the series 12 times. Only Lietuvos Rytas in the 2005 semifinals (two-way series) and Unicaja in the 2017 finals (best-of-three playoffs) managed to knock off Valencia after an opening road loss.

Next game:

Valencia and ALBA meet again on Friday, April 12 at 20:00 CET for Game 2 of the finals at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany. Valencia will have a chance to win its fourth EuroCup title and ALBA is in a do-or-die situation.

Will Thomas 2- Valencia Basket - EuroCup Finals 2018-19 - EC18
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Attendance: 7911
By Quarter1234
Valencia Basket20213018
ALBA Berlin13251522
End of Quarter1234
Valencia Basket20417189
ALBA Berlin13385375
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 2:20 2   0/1 2/2                   1 2
7 LABEYRIE, LOUIS 14:01 7 3/4   1/2 3 3 6           2 2 11
8 DIOT, ANTOINE 12:57     0/3   1 1 2 4   3          
9 VAN ROSSOM, SAM 25:49 15 3/3 2/7 3/3   1 1 7   1     3 3 17
10 THOMAS, WILL 25:59 22 9/13 1/2 1/1 3 3 6 1 1 2     1 3 25
13 TOBEY, MIKE 15:58 3 1/1   1/2 3 3 6 1   1     1 2 9
14 DUBLJEVIC, BOJAN 23:58 9 2/3 1/3 2/2 1 7 8 1 2 2     1 3 17
17 MARTINEZ, RAFA 1:14                              
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 19:26 11 2/4 1/2 4/5 1 3 4 1         3 5 14
21 THOMAS, MATT 20:58 16 1/3 4/5 2/3   1 1 1   1   1 1 1 12
30 SASTRE, JOAN 16:46 2 1/2 0/1     2 2 2 1 2 1   1 1 4
42 DOORNEKAMP, AARON 20:34 2 1/3 0/2   2 2 4 2         3   1
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 89 23/36 9/26 16/20 16 26 42 20 4 12 1 1 16 21 114
        63.9% 34.6% 80%
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
ALBA Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 SAIBOU, JOSHIKO 12:08           1 1     1     1   -1
3 SIVA, PEYTON 28:12 17 0/1 5/6 2/2   1 1 7   2     3 2 20
5 GIFFEY, NIELS 22:41 7 1/5 1/2 2/2 1 1 2           1 3 6
10 SCHNEIDER, TIM 10:18   0/2 0/1   2   2     1         -2
15 HERMANNSSON, MARTIN 26:01 16 3/4 3/5 1/1       2 1 1     2 1 14
22 WAGNER, FRANZ 10:45 2 1/2             1       4   -2
25 OGBE, KENNETH 4:44 1     1/4   1 1             2 1
31 GIEDRAITIS, ROKAS 24:26 9 1/4 2/7 1/2 1 1 2 3 2     1 1 4 9
32 THIEMANN, JOHANNES 15:33 8 4/5   0/1 1 4 5 1 1       2 1 12
33 CLIFFORD, DENNIS 5:22 4 2/2               1         3
35 NNOKO, LANDRY 16:55 4 2/6     2 1 3     2     3   -2
43 SIKMA, LUKE 22:55 7 2/6 1/3     5 5 3   1 1   4 3 8
Team           2   2     1         1
Totals 200:00 75 16/37 12/24 7/12 9 15 24 16 5 10 1 1 21 16 67
        43.2% 50% 58.3%

Head Coaches

Valencia Basket

"We played a very serious game from the beginning. We knew it was a game to which we needed to give our full energy in order to compete, mainly because they are a physically demanding team when it comes to transition defense. One of the main things was to compete on the boards, that was very important. Reaching a good level on that gave us a lot of chances to win the game. We had problems controlling their high three-point shooting percentage. Without a doubt, it is one of the factors to consider because that kept them in the game and gave them options almost until the end. We know that in order to beat ALBA again, we have to play with the commitment and energy on every play, and try to learn about all the situations in which they got advantages to find three-point shots, where they are very efficient. If we manage to do that, we think we have many chances to win another game.

"I think that Will [Thomas] was really focused on all the things he had to do. It is not a coach's job, I give him credit for that, and did things right. Maybe Luke [Sikma] has more responsibilities for his team and Will was able to focus a little bit more on his job, and that was an advantage which you have to make the most of. You need to have quality to take that advantage. Without any doubt, it was one of the keys to the game, Will's great effort to play defense against Luke, and also to play on offense against him, which was an important goal for us."

ALBA Berlin

"The first thing is to congratulate Valencia. I think they played an excellent game, especially in the third quarter, in which we didn't play bad defense but they scored many difficult baskets, not just one. One, two, three, four, from outside, penetrating, against good defense. And this is very difficult to stop. For this, I must congratulate them. I am not disappointed with the effort of my players and I would like to be better, me and everybody, but we were not, and we must recognize Valencia's superiority today

"The most important thing is competing and we did that relatively today, because they started to dominate the rebounds since the start of the game. None of our players had 6 rebounds, and five or six of their players have at least 6 of them. That is the first thing we need. It is just a question of height and physicality, but also being in the right place. We have to improve on rebounds, that's the first thing. The second thing is that we have to compete and have the opportunity to compete again in the next game in Berlin. I hope we can do it."


Valencia Basket
"We had some defensive stops in the third quarter and kept moving the ball on offense. We got a lot of good shots. They couldn't cover Will (Thomas) on the post and when they did a good job on him, we got a lot of open looks and made the shots. Our defense was very good in the third quarter and that was the key. Obviously, we want to go to Berlin and win but they are going to make adjustments and are going to be a lot better, I am sure."
Valencia Basket
"The third quarter was huge; the entire second half was big. We continued to get stops and scored a little bit in transition. We were able to get the ball inside and play with our bigs. We knew that they were going to make a run and they did ; they cut it to about eight or nine, I think. It just showed our character, being able to overcome that run. We are happy with the win, but we are not satisfied. Obviously, we know that in Berlin there is going to be a completely different atmosphere, but we played a lot of road games this season and were successful on the road. We have to continue doing what we are doing, continue to play defense and play together."
Valencia Basket
"That's been our whole focus for this series, to play great defense against them, transition defense and good half-court defense. In the second half, we were able to do that, and got the win. When we play play great defense, we know we can get easy buckets on the other end."
Valencia Basket
"It's only 1-0. I think today we had a good game, very concentrated on defense. That gave us the win. So it will be another battle on Friday. One of our main tasks was to control the rhythm. I think we limited their transition offense and I think we did a good job and we need to do the same on Friday."
ALBA Berlin
"I think that the main thing tonight was the rebounding because it just kind of hurt our offense. We were not able to get on the break like we wanted to and have to do a better job at that in the next game to kind of find our game again. They have guys who have been in this moment and proved it. A lot of guys stepped up and made tough plays in individual ways. But again, Friday is a new game, a new day. We are going to use these days to get ready and hopefully have a different result."
ALBA Berlin
"It is hard to say something right now. We need to watch the game, but yes, they dominated on the glass and got a lot of offensive rebounds, which was the key to winning this game – offensive rebounds. Making adjustments is important, of course. We need to watch what we did, our mistakes, and try to win on Friday."
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