2014-15Top 16Round 13
April 02, 2015 CET: 20:45

ALBA stays alive with monumental victory in Athens

ALBA Berlin rallied in the fourth quarter to edge Panathinaikos Athens on the road 66-68 on Thursday night. The victory was one of ALBA’s biggest-ever in the Euroleague and improved it to 7-6 in Top 16 Group E, while Panathinaikos dropped to 7-6. Panathinaikos holds a tiebreak advantage over ALBA due to its 6-point win in Berlin, however, both teams hold the keys to their own destiny and both will advance to the playoffs with a victory next week. Panathinaikos entered the final quarter with 55-46 lead – its biggest of the night, but Reggie Redding strung together 8 points to rally the visitors. The teams traded slim leads with Dimitris Diamantidis scoring for Panathinaikos, but Jamel McLean and Alex Renfroe made key baskets down the stretch to secure an ALBA victory. Renfroe finished with 16 points and 9 assists, Redding netted 8 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, while McLean amassed 11 points and 11 rebounds. Diamantidis led all scorers with 18 points, A.J. Slaughter and Antonis Fotsis had 12 apiece, and Esteban Batista scored 11 in defeat.

First quarter: Visitors erase Panathinaikos’s strong start

On its first trip down the floor, Panathinaikos grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds before Diamantidis opened the scoring with a triple. Slaughter followed it up with a floater and Batista made a couple free throws for a 7-0 start. Slaughter’s jumper extended the margin and forced visiting coach Sasa Obradovic to call a timeout, after which Cliff Hammonds and Renfroe nailed back-to-back triples to make it 9-6. Slaughter hit a second-chance three for the Greens, but Marko Banic scored from close range for the visitors. Slaughter made free throws and then fed James Gist for a fastbreak layup and a 15-8 advantage. However, Tabu countered with a triple, and after free throws from Diamantidis, Niels Giffey knocked down a baseline jumper for ALBA. McLean and Giffey made foul shots to close within 17-16. DeMarcus Nelson drove for a layup for the hosts, but Renfroe bettered it with a three and Redding quickly drove for a layup to give the Berliners a 19-21 edge. In the final minute of the quarter, Vlantimir Giankovits made free throws, but Banic finished with a layup that made it 21-23.

Second quarter: Batista and Fotsis secure the Greens with halftime lead

Renfroe’s reverse layup started the second quarter before a dunk from Batista and a triple from Antonis Fotsis put Panathinaikos back in front 26-25. Batista had another dunk, and after a driving layup from Hammonds, a triple from Diamantidis made it 31-27. Redding sank a baseline jumper midway through the quarter, and a layup from Alex King cut it to 32-31. However, Batista drove the baseline for a sweet reverse layup, and Fotsis went 4-for-4 from the free throw line before driving the baseline for a layup of his own that made it 40-31. After a timeout, Renfroe fought for a put-back to snap an 8-0 run, and send teams into halftime with Panathinaikos up 40-33.

Third quarter: Greens end quarter strong, build lead

McLean made a put-back to get the second ahlf going, but Slaughter answered with a fade-away jumper. Hammonds nailed a corner three for ALBA and McLean worked inside to cut the deficit to 42-40. Slaughter hit a long jumper, but Redding made a steal and raced for an easy two. Batista scored inside for Panathinaikos, but McLean answered with an alley-oop dunk for ALBA. A triple from Diamantidis put the hosts up 49-44 before several turnovers on both ends of the floor kept both teams scoreless for almost three minutes until Giankovits scored a put-back. Leon Radosevic made a baseline jumper to end ALBA’s drought, but Fotsis nailed a triple for the hosts and Batista split free throws for a 55-46 cushion.

Fourth quarter: Berliners rally for huge victory

Redding hit back-to-back triples to open the quarter, getting ALBA within 55-52. Redding’s jumper cut it to a single point, and forced the hosts to call a timeout. It was Gist who ended the run from close range, but King nailed a three-pointer to tie the score at 57-57. Diamantidis countered with a triple, but Renfroe drove for a layup to keep the visitors within a single possession. After Gist had an easy slam, Radosevic answered with a layup and McLean made a pair of foul shots, giving ALBA a 62-63 lead with less than four minutes to go. Panathinaikos was back in front again on a long jumper from Diamantidis, but McLean split free throws and Renfroe sank 2 more for a 64-66 advantage. Diamantidis leveled things up, getting a friendly roll on a jumper, but Renfroe scored a tip-in to keep ALBA in front. The visitors made a pair of defensive stands to enter the final 40 seconds up 66-68. Renfroe missed an off-balance jumper and Panathinaikos had 12 seconds for the final possession. After a timeout, Slaughter missed a three-pointer, and McLean secured a rebound with one second to go. He missed both free throws, but there was no time for the hosts to make a valid attempt as ALBA celebrated a huge victory.

Jamel McLean - ALBA Berlin - EB14
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Attendance: 11757
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens21191511
ALBA Berlin23101322
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens21405566
ALBA Berlin23334668
Panathinaikos Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 SLAUGHTER, AJ 27:21 12 5/7 0/2 2/4   3 3 3   2     3 4 11
7 BOCHORIDIS, ELEFTHERIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 JANKOVIC, VLADIMIR 26:08 6 2/3 0/2 2/2 3 1 4 2 2       1 1 11
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 23:48 12 1/1 2/3 4/4 1 4 5   1       1 2 18
10 NELSON, DEMARCUS 20:23 3 1/3 0/2 1/2   3 3 2   2     2 3 2
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS 5:21   0/2               1         -3
12 MAVROKEFALIDIS, LOUKAS 4:52   0/1       1 1       1 1 2   -2
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 30:07 18 2/2 4/5 2/2   1 1 4 1 2     2 4 23
14 GIST, JAMES 22:07 4 2/3 0/2           1       4 1 -1
15 BATISTA, ESTEBAN 29:13 11 4/7   3/4 1 3 4 2   4 1   4 7 13
18 BLUMS, JANIS 10:40     0/3           1 1     2 1 -4
31 LAWAL, GANI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 66 17/29 6/19 14/18 6 19 25 13 6 12 2 1 21 23 72
        58.6% 31.6% 77.8%
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
5 GIFFEY, NIELS 9:48 3 1/2 0/1 1/2   2 2     1     1 1 1
7 KING, ALEX 14:56 5 1/1 1/2   1 2 3       1   2   6
9 TABU, JONATHAN 13:05 3 0/1 1/2     1 1 1   1     2 2 2
11 VARGAS, AKEEM 13:33   0/1 0/1           1       4 1 -4
13 BANIC, MARKO 22:35 4 2/4           1   3     2 1 -1
15 REDDING, REGGIE 32:33 14 4/5 2/2     1 1 3 2 3     1 1 16
18 WOHLFARTH-BOTTERMANN, JONAS 2:52   0/1       1 1     1       1  
20 RENFROE, ALEX 25:37 16 4/8 2/2 2/2 2 2 4 9         3 6 28
25 HAMMONDS, CLIFF 17:54 8 1/2 2/2     2 2 2   1     5 1 6
33 MCLEAN, JAMEL 31:51 11 3/9   5/8 5 6 11 1 1 3   2   7 17
35 FREESE, JANNIK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
43 RADOSEVIC, LEON 15:16 4 2/4       1 1     1     3   -1
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 68 18/38 8/12 8/12 9 20 29 17 4 14 1 2 23 21 73
        47.4% 66.7% 66.7%

Head Coaches

Panathinaikos Athens
"In such a crucial game, we didn't have the mentality needed to dominate and advance to the next round. I am sad because we didn't perform team basketball for 30minutes and we allowed our opponents to come back and get the victory. Especially in the last quarter they outscored us and dominated under the boards. We didn't have concentration and consistency, while ALBA Berlin kept their rhythm and energy for the whole game. However, we are still alive and we have one more game to play and win it in order to make it to the quarterfinals."
ALBA Berlin
"I am very happy and very proud for what we have done tonight. In the first half, we committed some individual mistakes and  Panathinaikos took advantage of its experience and took the lead. They have much more individual and team experience than us, but fortunately the second half, and especially the last period, was another story. We had a little bit of luck, but I think that we deserved to win. The big heart and the great character we showed have been the key points for us to win here. This is a historical victory for Alba Berlin and the whole of German basketball, but our mission is not over yet. Now we have a chance to make it to the quarterfinals, which will be a historical success. "


Panathinaikos Athens
"We had an opportunity to win and I am sorry because I missed the last three-point shot. Janis Blums gave me the ball and I tried, but it didn't happen. Sometimes you make the big shots, sometimes you miss them, that's the game. We knew that ALBA Berlin is a strong and aggressive team, but we didn't play good enough to beat them, although we entered the fourth quarter with a nine-pont margin. However, we keep our hopes to make it to the playoffs, and the situation is on our hands."
Panathinaikos Athens
"It has been a difficult game against a tough and good team who came here to play for their life in the competition. We missed a great opportunity to finish the job tonight, but there is one more game and everything depends on us. No doubt that a home defeat in such a crucial game is always painful, especially because we had a nine-point lead and lost it very quickly in the fourth quarter. We had a lot of ups and down, while Alba Berlin never changed their own playing style. Now we have to work hard and get prepared for a very tough and difficult game in Belgrade. Red Star has already been eliminated, but they will not offer to us a gift."
ALBA Berlin
"We came here to play all our chances to keep our hopes alive. We did it and now we have the chance to advance to the playoffs, which will be a great success for our team. The Euroleague season is long and difficult, but we managed to remain competitive until the end. Now we have one game to play and this will be the biggest game of this season."
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