Aris BSA 2003 survived a do-or-die situation and registered its first win in Last 16 Group I by edging previously undefeated Alba Berlin 61-65 in the German capital on Tuesday. Aris improved to 1-2 and bounced back from a very difficult situation, as it hosts two of its three remaining Group I games. Meanwhile, Alba dropped to 2-1 but ties for first place in Group I. Keydren Clark paced the winners with 20 points. Andy Betts and Aaron Miles each added 13 from Aris. Blagota Sekulic and Rashad Wright each had 15 points for Alba while Immanuel McElroy added 12. In perhaps the biggest key to this game, Aris managed to hold Alba's scoring ace Julius Jenkins to just 3 points. Sekulic allowed Alba to get a 17-16 edge after 10 minutes. Clark shined late in the first half to put Aris ahead, 31-35, at the break. A three-pointer by McElroy allowed Alba to tie the game, 49-49, for the last time. Clark led a 4-14 run that put Aris ahead for good, 53-63. Alba managed to get within 61-63 with seconds to go but Michalis Kakiouzis sealed the outcome from the foul lines.
Betts got Aris going with a layup and a free throw by Miles soon gave the guests a 0-3 lead. Alba did not panic, however, as a three-pointer by Jurica Golemac ignited a 10-0 run in which Wright had 5 points for a 10-3 margin. Clark silenced the crowd with a big basket and back-to-back layups by Miles and Betts brought Aris within 10-9. Jenkins scored off a steal and McElroy added a layup to keep Alba ahead at 14-9. Betts kept pacing Aris with a put-back layup and Ivan Paunic added a fast break basket for a 14-13 Aris deficit. Sekulic helped the hosts to stay ahead, 17-16, after 10 minutes. Cemal Nalga scored down low early in the second quarter but a layup by Miles and a big triple by Clark tied it at 21-21. Wright sank a jumper that Kakiouzis bettered with a three-pointer, good for a 23-24 Aris edge. Betts and Sekulic traded baskets but Alba struggled to find the way to the basket. Meanwhile, a layup by Miles gave the guests a three-point lead at 25-28, making Alba call timeout. Clark sank free throws but Byars answered from downtown and Nalga dunked it for a 30-30 tie. A layup by Miles and a wild dunk-and-foul by Clark allowed Aris to regain the lead, 31-35, at halftime.
Aris found a go-to guy in Betts immediately after the break, as he scored twice in the paint for a 33-39 lead. He didn't find much help around, however, as Alba was all over the place in defense. McElroy sank a three-pointer and free throws by Sekulic brought Alba within 38-39. Aris went scoreless for almost 4 minutes until Demos Dikoudis hit a free throw but a put-back layup by Sekulic soon tied the game at 40-40. Sekulic capped a 9-1 run with free throws but Clark answered from downtown for a 42-43 Aris edge. Clark stayed on fire and downed back-to-back jumpers to boost the guests' lead to 44-47 after 30 minutes. McElroy followed a layup with a three-pointer to tie the game, 49-49, early in the fourth quarter. Miles took over with a layup, igniting a 0-7 run that Clark capped with another triple to give Aris its biggest lead that far, 49-56. Dragan Dojcin joined the three-point shootout but Dikoudis sank a jumper and Nikos Hatzivrettas buried one from downtown to break the game open, 53-61, with 3 minutes left. Kakiouzis capped a 4-14 run with a jumper but a jumper by Wright and a layup by Sekulic gave Alba some hope at 57-63. Wright scored again and a put-back layup by McElroy brought the hosts back to life, 61-63. Free throws by Kakiouzis allowed Aris to celebrate a much-needed win.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010