Turk Telekom took a very important step forwards to reach the elimination rounds in Group A by beating Alba Berlin 82-71 in Ankara, Turkey on Tuesday night. Turk Telekom improved to 3-1 in Group A and will be at least second at the end of this round. Meanwhile, Alba dropped to 2-2 and ties with Siauliai for the third place in this group. Michael Wright led the winners with 24 points on 8-for-12 two-pointers and 8-for-9 free throws. Khalid El-Amin added 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to break the game in the final minutes. Erwin Dudley added 17 on 7-for-9 two-pointers while Chris Williams had 11 for Turk Telekom. Goran Nikolic led Alba with 13 points while Bobby Brown, Julius Jenkins and Patrick Femerling each added 12 for the German powerhouse. Wright and El-Amin helped Turk Telekom to get a double-digit lead, 46-36, at halftime. Femerling and Jenkins led the guests' comeback after the break, as Vujadin Subotic scored from downtown to make it a one-point game, 61-60, after 30 minutes. Turk Telekom found a go-to guy in El-Amin, who buried 3 triples in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, while the hosts improved their defense to add an important win.
Alba started the game with back-to-back baskets by Brown and Dijon Thompson, but Wright and El-Amin fueled a 7-0 run for a 9-4 Turk Telekom lead. Thompson and 5 quick points by Nikolic got Alba closer at 13-11 but an unstoppable Dudley kept the hosts ahead, 17-11. Brown had 5 points in a 0-7 Alba run that put the guests back ahead, 17-18. Mutlu Akpinar and Wright allowed Turk Telekom to regain the lead, 24-18, after 10 minutes. Nikolic fired in his second triple but a 6-0 run in which Wright had 4 points gave Turk Telekom a 30-21 edge early in the second quarter. The hosts entered the foul bonus too early, however, allowing Aleksandar Rasic, Thompson and Femerling to get Alba within 39-34. A three-point play by Wright and back-to-back baskets by Williams and El-Amin allowed Turk Telekom to restore a double-digit lead, 46-36, at halftime. Femerling stepped up with consecutive baskets right after the break, igniting a 1-11 run that Jenkins capped with a three-point play to get the guests back in the game, 49-47. Dudley and Wright stepped up for Turk Telekom by Femerling and Vujadin Subotic got Alba even closer, 56-55. El-Amin shined with 5 straight points, but Femerling and a final triple by Subotic kept Alba in the game, 61-60, after 30 minutes. El-Amin buried back-to-back triples while Alba committed 3 consecutive turnovers. Williams scored inside while El-Amin fired in another from downtown for a 72-65 Turk Telekom edge. Alba struggled to score right when it mattered, while a three-point play by Williams and another basket by El-Amin sealed the outcome, 77-68, as Alba did not recover in the final 3 minutes.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007