In some ways ALBA Berlin hanging around in the race for the top spot in Group B was amazing considering the injuries the club has endured. Tuesday marked the first time that is had point guard Peyton Siva on the court together with center Dennis Clifford. As the wounded return to form, ALBA may be a team that will peak at just the right time.
The headline from the 64-76 road win at Arka Gdynia was Siva's double-double in just 24 minutes off the bench in his first EuroCup game since Round 4. Siva had already played a few games for ALBA in the German League, but as Coach Aito Garcia Reneses said: "This is the first game that he is playing better than the others because he needs his rhythm and he is getting that."
Siva's impact was immediate when he came on the floor during the first quarter; he hit a jumper and delivered 3 assists in a 3-13 run to close out the third quarter. On a night where the team shot poorly (37.5% on two-pointers, 37.0% on threes), Siva shot well (3 of 4 on twos, 2 of 4 on threes). His assist numbers might have even been higher had more of his teammates' shots fallen. And ALBA was plus-24 when he was on the floor.
Siva was not the only player making his way back for ALBA on Tuesday. Joshiko Saibou started in his first EuroCup game since Round 1, thus giving the ALBA backcourt another weapon. Now Coach Aito only waits to get Martin Hermannsson back and he will have ALBA at full strength entering 2019.