Alba Berlin remained perfect in Group A through three games after topping Galatasaray Café Crown 87-77 on Tuesday at o2 World in the German capital. The hosts outrebounded Galatasaray 37-28 and made 11 of 21 triples to secure the win, which dropped Galatasaray to 1-2. The two teams meet again next week in Istanbul. It was a topsy-turvy game with Alba leading by double figures in the second quarter before the visitors stormed back to tie it a 37-37 by halftime. Galatasaray started the second half in form, but Berlin heated up from outside and shot itself into the lead, using a 7-0 spurt to finish the third quarter ahead 62-57 and never looking back. Immanuel McElroy led the charge with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, Julius Jenkins had 16 points and 6 assists, Adam Chubb also scored 16 and Rashad Wright and Dragan Dojcin added 11 each. Mike Wilkinson led Galatasaray with 20 points and 8 rebounds, Darius Washington had 17 points and 5 assists, Rado Rancik also scored 17 and Murat Kaya added 12 on 4-for-5 three-point shooting.
Jenkins came out firing and drilled a three on the game’s first possession, but Wilkinson started red hot as well, scoring Galatasaray’s first two baskets and soon delivering his first three-pointer of the season for a 5-9 lead. Berlin bounced back quickly through Dragan Dojcin on the offensive glass and McElroy. Rancik helped the visitors to an 11-15 edge, but the hosts were still gaining strength. Dojcin scored again on the glass and Derrick Byars nailed a triple as Alba finished the quarter on a 9-0 run for a 23-17 lead after 10 minutes. Berlin’s lead reached 28-19 when Byars corrected his own miss. Washington and Wilkinson reenergized the Galatasaray attack to get within 5, but Wright hit a three and made a layup to get to 33-23. Kaya heated up from downtown to bring the visitors close. With Alba going cold on offense, successive baskets by Washington, Polat Kocaoglu and Simas Jasaitis tied the game at 37-37 at halftime.
Free throws by Washington and a Rancik basket pushed Galatasaray ahead at the start of the second half, but Berlin came right back as Jenkins and connected from downtown. The three-point shootout continued as Rancik and Kaya made triples to give the visitors a 45-49 edge. Chubb soon knotted the score and Dojcin drilled a three for a slim Alba lead. The teams continued to trade baskets and Kaya restored a small Galatasaray advantage with a three. But Berlin was ready for another run. Byars scored on the offensive glass, Wright made a layup and McElroy corrected a Chubb miss make it 62-57 at the end of the third quarter. Galatasaray did not go away and Washington had the visitors back within 3 in no time. Chubb shined down low and Jenkins hit from downtown, however Galatasaray answered through Wilkinson to stay within 5. Berlin got threes from Dojcin and McElroy to stretch its lead to 83-74 with two minutes to play. Jasaitis converted a basket-plus-foul at the other end, but the visitors failed to score on their next three trips down the floor, allowing Berlin to wrap up the victory.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009