Sikma, Peno lead ALBA past Lokomotiv
ALBA Berlin sent a message that echoed all around the 7DAYS EuroCup by downing previously undefeated Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 75-83 on the road on Wednesday. The outcome left both teams with 4-1 records in Group B. Luke Sikma paced the winners with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Johannes Thiemann added 12, Niels Giffey had 11 and Stefan Peno dished 10 assists for ALBA, which was without starting point guard and EuroCup assists leader Peyton Siva. Isaiah Whitehead led Lokomotiv with 16 points, Dorell Wright had 15, Moustapha Fall 14 and Mateusz Ponitka 10.
Clint Chapman and Kenneth Ogbe shined early and a huge alley-oop dunk by Sikma gave ALBA a 6-13 lead. Sikma capped a 0-11 run with a triple that made it a double-digit game, 6-17. Wright and Trevor Lacey brought Lokomotiv a bit closer, 17-25, after 10 minutes. Giffey stepped up for ALBA, restoring a 21-33 margin early in the second quarter. Fall tried to change things for the hosts with a couple of dunks but Ogbe, Martin Hermannsson and an inspired Tim Schneider kept ALBA comfortably ahead, 39-49, at halftime. Ponitka led an 8-0 run, which Dmitriy Khvostov capped with a floater for a 47-51 Lokomotiv deficit soon after the break. Sikma and Rokas Giedraitis helped ALBA bounce back, extending the guests' margin to 58-67 after 30 minutes. Fall kept pacing Lokomotiv, but a three-pointer by Sikma caused the hosts to stop the game at 61-71 with six minutes left. Lokomotiv never gave up, but it was too little, too late for the hosts, as ALBA cruised to a brilliant road win.
Sikma stepped up in Siva's absence, leading his team with 18 points - missing just one shot, collecting 9 rebounds - 5 of them on the offensive end, dishing 4 assists, and drawing 5 fouls for a PIR of 31.
ALBA made it clear from the very beginning; it was able to share the ball and be competitive without its starting point guard - 7 assists and no turnovers in the opening seven minutes for a 10-20 lead, a first push that allowed the guests to stay ahead for good.
Peno doubled his career-high in assists with 10 against Lokomotiv. He was the 13th player in competition history to reach at least 10 assists with no turnovers - Khvostov and Omar Cook each did so twice. The record for most assists and no turnovers belongs to Nick Calathes, who had 14 with Lokomotiv against Trefl Sopot on December 12, 2012.
Did you notice?
Lokomotiv had won its last 14 regular season games. ALBA also snapped Loko's nine-game winning streak at home in regular season action. Its last road loss had been against Valencia Basket, 64-73, on November 9, 2016.
Both teams return to EuroCup action on Wednesday, November 7 - ALBA visits Tofas Bursa and Lokomotiv hosts Arka Gydnia.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018