ALBA continues strong run with win at ASVEL
ALBA Berlin continued its strong run of results by prevailing in a hard-fought battle with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, winning 89-95 on the road. Peyton Siva poured in a career-high 21 points to lead ALBA, which has won two straight road games and three of its last four overall to move to 11-18. Simone Fontecchio added 19 points, Marcus Eriksson scored 14 , Johannes Thiemann tallied 13 and Ben Lammers chipped in 12 in the win. ASVEL has now lost three straight following a six-game winning streak to fall to 12-17, more or less ending any slim hopes the team had of making the playoffs. Guerschon Yabuslee paced ASVEL with 20 points while William Howard scored 15 and Norris Cole and Ismael Bako both had 12 points in the defeat.
Cole opened the scoring for the hosts while Luke Sikma answered with a three-point play and ALBA was up 2-5. Cole’s next basket put ASVEL back ahead and the game was tight early on, knotted 15-15. The French side got a three-pointer from Howard in a 7-0 run to finally pull away a bit while Bako added 6 points. ASVEL led 30-23 after 10 minutes. ALBA scored the first 4 points of the second quarter to trim it to 30-27. Matthew Strazel and Howard answered with three-pointers as the cushion grew to 38-29. Fontecchio countered with 5 points as ALBA tried to stay close 40-36. The visitors did not have an answer for Yabusele, who blocked 2 shots and scored 4 points in extending the gap to 50-38. Eriksson hit his first three-pointer of the game at the other end, but ASVEL went into the locker room up 52-43.
Eriksson opened the second half scoring and his second three-pointer was followed by two scores from Siva. Yabusele countered from deep, but an unsportsmanlike foul on Cole resulted in 4 points by Siva and a 57-58 ALBA lead. Yabusele and Howard both hit triples for ASVEL and Siva and Jonas Mattisseck did the same for ALBA as the lead went back and forth. ASVEL finished the third quarter strong with the final 6 points to lead 73-70 after 30 minutes. The tight back-and-forth affair continued in the final frame. Paul Lacombe’s free throws opened the quarter, but Fontecchio scored 4 points and Eriksson hit a triple in a 0-7 spurt to put ALBA up 77-79. Strazel answered with a three-point play and then hit 3 free throws as the game was even at 83-83. ALBA twice pushed the lead to 4, but Cole hit back-to-back baskets to tie things up again 89-89 with 75 seconds remaining. Fontecchio nailed a big three-pointer with 52 seconds left and then Eriksson added free throws with 16 seconds remaining to secure the win.
First road win in series
These two teams had faced off four times before this game and each time the home side prevailed. That is until ALBA came to France and picked up the victory - and a season sweep of ASVEL - for a 3-2 series lead.
Peyton Siva was outstanding for the German champion as he collected a career-high 21 points plus 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals for a career-best index rating of 28.
ALBA shot 67.5% on two-pointers and 40.0% from long range while also committing 12 turnovers - 2.7 fewer turnovers than its average of 14.7, which were the second-most in the league coming into the game.
After two straight road games, ALBA returns home and hosts Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday, March 18. ASVEL has a break before it returns to the court; its next game will be at home against Real Madrid on March 25.
Thursday, March 11, 2021