ALBA comes back in second half to succeed
It didn't look too good for ALBA Berlin during the first half, but after the halftime break, the hosts managed to hold visiting Limoges CSP off and took a 84-76 win. ALBA had already qualified for the Top 16 from Group B, and this win reinforces its status in the group with a 6-2 record. Limoges drops to 2-6 and is two wins away from Tofas Bursa, a team it defeated in the first leg, so the French squad still has options to advance to the Top 16. Clint Chapman led the winners with 15 points and 9 rebounds, Luke Sikma added 14 and Rokas Giedraitis and Stefan Peno had 12 apiece. For Limoges, which was leading 26-41 in minute 18, had Dwight Hardy with 15 points and Axel Bouteille with 13 as main contributors. ALBA was 0 of 9 from the arc midway through the game, but its three bombs dropped in key moments that helped the hosts take the win.
Clint Chapman and Rokas Giedraitis launched ALBA at the beginning, but Isaiah Miles drained two threes on his own to keep Limoges on the trail. As ALBA was struggling from beyond the arc, Dwight Hardy netted Limoges' third three to make it 16-15 and Sekou Doumbouya soon added a bucket to put the guests ahead for the first time, 16-17. Hardy free throws made it 18-21 after 10. Doumbouya's spectacular three made it 20-28 for the guests in the second period, and ALBA was still stuck at 0 of 7 from the arc. Limoges seemed to find a better flow in the second quarter and pushed the lead to double digits, making it 34-44 at the break. ALBA came back to start the second half, and the trend kept flowing in the following minutes. Luke Sikma made it a one-point affair and then Niels Giffey and Bennet Hundt finally draines threes to put ALBA in charge again, 56-55 until the hosts went on to win the third quarter, 24-13. Samardo Samuels kept working hard under the glass to keep Limoges close, as the guests kept on pushing. The second half of the last quarter was as close as they come, with both teams trading leads. Six unanswered points by Chapman and Stefan Peno boosted the ALBA lead to 80-74 with less than two minutes to go and that was more than Limoges could deal with.
Character of a winning team
ALBA was trailing by 15 points in minute 18, 26-41. Limoges was raining threes and playing with flow in offense, and the hosts were stuck form beyond the arc. However, Coach Garcia Reneses worked his magic in the lockerroom and ALBA came back, little by little, until it was a full-on storm when Limoges realized it. ALBA won the second half by 50-32. It was a tale of two halves.
Chapman sends a message
In what was supposed to be his last game with ALBA at the end of his temporary two-month contract, Clint Chapman stepped up and showed that he deserves a second chance. As a starter, Chapman played almost 20 minutes and led the team with 15 points and 9 rebounds, shooting a 6 of 9 two-pointers. He also added one block to a solid all-around performance that will surely be noticed by the club.
Notable in defeat
Big man Samardo Samuels was everywhere in this game in Berlin. He netted 12 points with no miss - 3 of 3 twos and 6 of 6 free throws -, pulled 3 rebounds, dished 2 assists, had 1 steal and had a PIR of 18 before he fouled out after 16 minutes on court. His attitude on court when Limoges started trailing in the second half was the flag of a team that never surrendered.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018