KK Bosna lived a thrilling night on Tuesday as it defeated Alba Berlin by 91-76 at home and managed to advance to the Last 32 round in its first ULEB Cup appearance. To advance as third in Group A, Bosna needed to beat Alba by at least 15 points and also a Siauliai loss, which arrived thanks to DKV Joventut. This allowed the Bosnian team to win a direct tie with Siauliai by only two points. With this win, Bosna lifts its record to 4-6 and wins the three-way tie with Siauliai and Alba Berlin, who step out of the competition at this point. Lance Williams led Bosna with his 20 points, Bryan Bailey added 13, Muhamed Pasalic 11 and Quemont Greer, Dzenan Rahimic and Jeremy Veal had 10 each. For Alba, Aleksandar Rasic had 18 points, Goran Nikolic added 15 and Julius Jenkins had 10.
The first four minutes of the game showed a slow start in offense for both sides as defenses started aggressive, and only allowed a 3-4 score after that span. However, Goran Nikolic's triple allowed Alba to go for a 5-9 edge to try to look for some air. Nikolic soon had a new three to push Alba further to a 9-14 lead. Lance Williams and Brian Bailey however, allowed the hosts to trail only by 13-16 after 10 minutes. Alba kept working to maintain the slim, but sufficient, cushion as minutes went by. In minute 15, the guests dominated by 27-31. When Aleksandar Rasic's three and Dijon Thompson's basket fell in, Alba jumped to 29-36, but Bosna was back in the fight with a new 5-0 burst that led to a 34-40 halftime edge for Alba Berlin. The third quarter started better for KK Bosna as the soared to a 17-7 run for 51-47, but Nikolic and Julius Jenkins woke Alba up in a flash and, as tradition this season, Bosna and Alba entered the last period hand in hand as the third one finished with a 62-61. The trend was broken however as Bosna opened the last period with an 8-0 run capped by Muhamed Pasalic's three that made it 80-61. Alba reacted knowing all its options to advance were slipping away, but the hosts soared again to the 21-9 run with Bailey points, 83-70 in minute 38. William's basket put Bosna in the 89-70 score and Alba's Rasic hit two free throws for Bosna's timeout in the last minute, which effectively worked as the hosts used the final plays to reach the sufficient difference, 15 points, to win the game and advance to the Last 32 round for the firs time in front of its happy crowd.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008