Alba impresses with road win at Montepaschi
Alba Berlin stunned Montepaschi Siena 82-92 at the Palaestra on Friday in the visitors’ first Turkish Airlines Euroleague appearance in more than three years. At what is traditionally one of the toughest away venues in the Euroleague, the Berliners snapped a seven-game Euroleague losing streak by taking control of the game with a 0-11 run in the second quarter and using a 0-15 charge in the third to race to a 16-point lead and Siena never really threatened after that. DaShaun Wood led six Alba scorers in double figures with 15 points. Vule Avdalovic and Nihad Djedovic scored 14 apiece, Yassin Idbihi added 13 and Albert Miralles and Deon Thompson each scored 10. Siena lost their opening game for the first time in six years despite David Moss being game’s highest scorer with 17 points. Kristjan Kangur scored 13 and Bobby Brown had 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Offensive rhapsody
Albert Miralles scored a layup to start the scoring before Deon Thompson and DaShaun Wood added a layup each, but David Moss and Marco Carrratero hit shots from behind the arc for the hosts to set an early 6-6 tie. Zach Morley scored inside for Alba before Moss’s basket-plus-foul gave Siena its first lead of the game, 9-8. Vule Avdalovic answered with Alba's first triple, and the same player added a layup to make it 9-13 after only four minutes. Carratero cut the lead with another three-pointer, while Miralles and Benjamina Eze continued the early offensive rhapsody with baskets inside. What followed was a three-pointer plus a long jumper from Avdalovic and Wood, respectively, that gave Alba 14-20 advantage. Yassin Idbihi’s put-back made it an 8-point game. Eze muscled in for a basket-plus-foul to cut the deficit and Daniel Hackett free throws plus a layup and dunk from Victor Sanikidze after some nifty inside passing put Siena back up 23-22. Yassini snapped that 8-0 run, before Sanikidze and Brian Randle made it 25-25 at the end of first quarter.
Second quarter: Alba takes control with 0-11 run
After a Morley layup, Bobby Brown hit a triple and scored on a drive to give Montepaschi a 30-27 advantage. The hosts mixed some man-to-man and zone defenses in trying to slow down Alba’s offense, and Matt Janning and Kristjan Kangour hit back-to-back threes to go up 37-31, but Thompson, Miralles and Nihad Djedovic scored with ease from close range, and Miralles’s tip-in gave Alba a 37-39 lead with less than three minutes left in the half. Siena’s scoring draught forced head coach Luca Banchi to call another timeout. Djedovic drained a wide open triple to give Alba 5-point lead. A pair of free throws from Aleksandar Rasic snapped Berlin’s 0-11 run and cut it to 39-42, which proved to be the halftime result.
Third quarter: Visitors extend lead to double figures
Eze fought hard inside to start the second half for Siena on the right foot. Avdalovic answered with a runner and Moss kept hosts within 1 point with a back door cut. Nonetheless, Idbihi’s uncontested layup and basket-plus-foul gave Alba a 6-point lead and started a run of 15 unanswered points. The visitors dominated on the offensive glass in the third quarter and that gave Thompson and Idbihi the chance to score inside, then Wood first added a jumper on a fast-break and then a driving layup as well, while Miralles wrapped up a 0-15 run with a dunk for a 43-59 lead after midway through the quarter. A Janning three-pointer ended Siena’s drought but Morley, Idbihi and Djedovic protected Alba’s double-digit advantage. Mario Kasun’s put-back and Kangour’s triple cut the deficit to 10 points in the final 60 seconds of the quarter, and Alba took 59-69 lead into the final 10 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Berlin hangs on and seals the deal
David Moss cut the deficit to 63-69 in less than a minute with 2 free throws and a long jumper to start the fourth quarter. With Siena’s defense increasingly aggressive, Wood hit an important triple to give the visitors a breath of fresh air. Kasun free throws and a Rasic jumper kept Siena within 7, but a Schaffartzik three-pointer gave Alba a 67-77 lead. Kangur answered with a triple, however Thompson grabbed an offensive rebound and blocked Brown’s three-point attempt. Free throws by Djedovic and Avdalovic made it 70-81 and essentially sealed the deal. Djedovic extended the lead to 72-86 with minute and a half to go. Moss and Brown hit back-to-back threes in an attempt to trim down the all-important point difference, but Alba went 6 for 6 from the charity stripe to win by 10.
Friday, October 12, 2012