Alba Berlin remains perfect at 2-0 in Group after pulling out a dramatic 73-74 road win at still-winless BC Azovmash thanks to Julius Jenkinss leadership and scoring down the stretch. Jenkins paced the winners with 22 points, including the eventual game-winner in the next-to-last minute. Blagota Sekulic seconded him with 12 points and 6 boards, and Immanuel McElroy added 12 points and dished out 5 assists. Hasan Rizvic paced Azovmash with 22 points and 8 rebounds. In his first Eurocup game with the Ukrainian champs, new pick-up Ejike Ugboaja racked up 20 points and 6 boards. Rolandas Jarutis had 16, and Fred House did all he could with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in a losing effort. The game was tightly contested throughout 40 minutes. With Azovmash up by 10 points late in the second quarter, Alba closed out the half with a 0-9 run and just happened to have that little extra at the end that was worth the victory.
Jenkins and McElroy scored the first two buckets for Alba before Ejike Ugboaja got Azovmash on the scoreboard with a layup and foul for the three-point play. Hasan Rizvic added two more before Rashad Wright and House traded triples. Rizvic stuck again for 2 and Blagota and Ugboaja each got dunks for their respective sides. Jenkins and Jarutis traded three-pointers before McElroy made a layup, 17-15. Rolandas hit a three-pointer and Ugboaja dunked again to get Azovmashs lead up to 7 before Jenkins responded with a long-range bomb. Ugboaja tallied his 11th point of the quarter with a layup and moments later went outside and hit a three for the 9-point lead. Jenkins, once again, scored for Alba, but Azovmash went into the second up 31-22 on a layup by Oleksandr Skutyelnik. Jenkins scored a field goal before Bogdan Bayda nailed a three for the home team to open the second. Hamman Steffen answered with a triple of his own for the visitors, but Jarutis hit again from beyond the arc, 37-27. Derrick Byars and Kenan Bajramovic scored 4 straight for Alba, but Rizvic contested with a layup to push Azovmash out ahead by 10 points. Alba then went on a 0-9 run, including 4 points from McElroy to pull within 1 point at halftime, 41-40.
Ugboaja struck with back-to-back layups to begin the second half, but McElroy answered with 4 straight points of his own. Ugboaja took up the challenge and brought his personal tally to 20 with another inside score, 47-44. Rizvic added 2 foul shots and a layup before Jenkins got 2 points inside. Jarutis sliced in for a bucket, but Adam Chubb scored a 2-plus-1 to pull Alba to within 3 points. Rizvic made a pair of free throws, and moments later House dropped a three-pointer. Alba got to within 2 on a layup by Hamann to pull Alba to within 58-56 after three quarters. Jenkins tied the game with a layup at the opening of the fourth, but Skutyelnik grabbed the lead back for Azovmash with a three-pointer the next trip down. House added a foul shot, but Chubb struck again inside, and Byars knotted the game at 62-62 with a layup. Sekulic gave Alba the lead at 63-64, and the game swung back and forth with neither team able to open up a lead of more than 2 points. With under three minutes to play, Jenkins hit a three put Alba up 69-70. Jarutis tied it with a three-pointer of his own. Out of an Alba timeout, Jenkins scored a field goal to regain the lead, 72-74. Sekulic then blocked a shot by House, but Jenkins missed 2 foul shots with a minute to play. Jarutis went to the foul line with a chance to tie the game, but he went 1-of-2 and Alba began to celebrate.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009